Perilla ocimoides L.
Coarse, strongly aromatic annual. Stems erect, 60-120 cm, sturdy, quadrangular, villous with long spreading multicellular eglandular hairs. Leaves broadly ovate, 8-10 x 5-8 cm, acute, crenate to serrulate, pilose on both sur-faces, gland-dotted beneath, rounded to broadly cuneate at base; petiole 2-5 cm, often densely villous. Racemes dense, erect, often borne in axils of upper leaves. Bracts c. 4 mm, longitudinally folded. Pedicels sturdy, c. 0.5 mm. Calyx in flower c. 3.5 mm, gland-dotted and with villous hairs, enlarging in fruit to 9-10 mm, ± horizontally spreading, with a slightly recurved shortly 3-toothed upper lobe and lower lobe with 2 lanceolate acuminate teeth, villous at throat within. Corolla c. 4 mm, white; tube c. 1.8 mm wide and long, villous at throat. Nutlets pale brown c. 1.8 x 1.8 mm, globose, with raised markings, not mucilaginous on wetting.
Fl. Per.: August-September.
Type: "Habitat in India" (LINN 731/2 - microfiche!).
Distribution: Pakistan, Kashmir, Himalayas to Bhutan, India, Burma, China, SE Asia, Japan. Introduced-naturalized in N. America.
Apparently both native and cultivated in our area. It is grown for a volatile oil extracted from its leaves and nutlets (cf. Wealth of India, l.c.); it is also used in folk medicine. In native habitats it is usually restricted to shady places in the foothills.
Characteristic features are the sturdy habit, the usually secund flowers, the much expanded fruiting calyces and the raised reticulum on the nutlets.