Dried Perilla Leaves (Shiso)
Oct 20th, 2011, by Alex Zorach
This photo shows dried perilla leaves. This perilla was harvested from the John Heinz National Wildlife refuge in Philadelphia, where it is a non-native (invasive?) weed. I also took a photo of this wild population of perilla.
This plant has escaped from cultivation and naturalized widely in the U.S. It is used in Japanese cuisine, and can also be brewed to make an herbal tea. The dried leaves can be steeped to make a pleasant herbal tea, or can be added to soup where they fully reconstitute relatively quickly.
Perilla or shiso comes in both red and green varieties. This particular specimen is mostly green, but has some reddish color evident in the stems and veins of the leaves.