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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Lamiaceae | Perilla

1a. Perilla frutescens var. frutescens

紫苏 zi su

Description from Flora of China

Ocimum frutescens Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 597. 1753; Melissa cretica Loureiro; Melissa maxima Arduino; Mentha perilloides Lamarck; Perilla avium Dunn; P. ocymoides Linnaeus; P. urticaefolia Salisbury.

Stems densely villous. Leaves broadly ovate to orbicular, 7-13 × 4.5-10 cm, green or purple, adaxially pilose, abaxially appressed villous, margin coarsely serrate. Fruiting calyx to 1.1 cm, base villous, glandular. Nutlets gray-brown, ca. 1.5 mm in diam.

Seeds are a source of perilla oil, a drying oil resembling linseed oil, which is used in waterproofing paper, manufacturing cheaper lacquer vanishes, printing ink, and painting. Leaves are used for flavoring dishes in India and China. Widely cultivated in China [Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia (Java), Japan, Korea, Laos, Vietnam]


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