Identification question

Asked September 14, 2020, 7:02 AM EDT

Hi, I have a plant growing in my community garden which I did not saw, and which I cannot identify. I would appreciate your assistance. Thank you so much! Please see photos attached.

Montgomery County Maryland

2 Responses

Beefsteak plant, Perilla frutescens, is also called common perilla,
purple perilla, purple mint, shiso, Chinese basil, wild basil, blueweed, Joseph’s coat,
wild coleus, or rattlesnake weed, A member of the Mint family, it is a native of Asia
and a traditional Asian crop used in cooking. It is an herbaceous annual invasive
found in Maryland and some surrounding states in turf edges near wooded
areas or in landscapes.
Beefsteak plant has opposite leave that are green to purple in color, oval
(ovate) in shape occurring with a toothed margin, two to five inches in length,
and one and one half to four inches in width. The stem is square (photo 1). It
will have a distinct mint-like odor when handled. The flowers are white and
purple, bell-shaped, with fine hairs, the upper portion is three-toothed, and
the lower portion is two-toothed. The flowers will occur in terminal clusters
between July and October. Beefsteak plant has a fibrous root system (photo 2),
and its seeds spread by wind or water movement. It is very similar to basil and
coleus, but the distinctive odor will help identify it. Beefsteak plant will grow
to twenty-four inches in height.
Control of beefsteak plant can be done using manual removal, mowing to
prevent seed production. Preventing seed production will be a start, but
seeds can remain viable for several years in the soil.
Early season
identification and control is very useful.
Don't let this invasive plant go to seed. Pull now and don't compost unless there are no seeds yet and no soil clinging to roots that enable rerooting of the plant.


Thank you so much! I will eradicate this immediately and will not compost/mulch it.