Once Unidentified Shiso

The apartment complex I live in created a few garden plots a year ago. This summer, due to the nature of having multiple residents, I didn’t use the same plot as I did before. I ecstatically planted seeds but what sprouted was not what I had expected. A mysterious plant emerged from the previous year’s planting. It began to spread all across the plot, even into other plots! It had thin leaves, serrated edges, and smelled of pepper and citrus. I hoped it was edible but I couldn’t find any information on it by searching those characteristics. It took 3 months, but I finally stumbled across what it was – Green Shiso, also known as Perilla or Beefsteak. Last night I made Shiso pesto and I was really impressed by it’s unique flavor. I will plant this intentionally in the future! I love it!

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