Red Shiso (Perilla) Growing in Cracks in a Brick Sidewalk in album plants

In Albums:Philadelphia plants

Photo of red shiso, a basil-like plant with dark red leaves, growing in cracks in a sidewalk, with a few other plants coming up as well

Jul 4th, 2011, by Alex Zorach

This is a photo of red shiso, a kind of perilla, coming up in the cracks in a brick sidewalk, in an alley in Center City Philadelphia. This plant, Perilla frutescens, has widely naturalized in the U.S., and this photo makes clear how easily this occurs. The plant was planted nearby in a pot, and has already seeded itself in between the cracks in the brick, where it is growing more vigorously than the other plants, which include grasses, moss, and common plantain. You can also view a photo of the original plant in the pot; that page also has more information about this herb.

Throughout the city of Philadelphia, one can find shiso growing wild in cracks in the sidewalk, flower beds, and up against buildings, sometimes vigorously, and sometimes, far from any clear source of the plant in a garden or flower pot.