Weed ID?

blackdoggaJune 17, 2009

I cleared an area that had been covered by pinestraw and planted it this spring. Now it's overrun by large (2-3') plants with purple leaves (largest are about 3"). The leaves are broad at the bottom and pointed at the top, and the stems are square like mint. Does anyone know what this is or where I can find a guide to Georgia weeds? Thanks for your help.

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A picture would really help. Are you sure they aren't Coleus?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 10:11AM
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THey do look like coleus -- but REALLY big. I didn't know you could post pics here -- I'll give it a try.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 10:18AM
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Could be Perilla frutescens - it can be quite weedy.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 10:19AM
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Here's a link to flickr -- I hope. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nsteinen.

esh -- I just looked at a picture of perilla frutescens and it certainly looks like that's what it is. How it got there is another question. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 10:44AM
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Wow! That thing does look like a Coleus but, I think Esh is correct. Coleus leaf veins are totaly different.
Here's your picture:

If my weeds looked that good, I'd be happy. Here's some info:

Invasive Plants of Asian Origin Established in the US and Their Natural Enemies  129
Native to Eastern Asia, the genus
Perilla contains only one species and
three varieties. Perilla frutescens is
well-known in Chinese medicine and
has a long history of cultivation in
Species and Related Varieties of
Perilla in China
Family: Labiatae (Lamiaceae)
Genus: Perilla L.
Perilla frutescens is an erect, annual
herb that grows 0.3 to 2 m tall. The
villose stems are purple or green with
four parallel grooves. Opposite leaves
are membranous or herbaceous, broadly
ovate or orbicular, 7-13 cm long and
4.5-10 cm wide, with mucronate tips,
a rounded or broad cuneate bases, and
dentate margins. The pilose surface of
the leaves may be green or purple on
both sides, or purple on the underside
only. Each leaf has seven to eight pairs
of lateral veins, which are closer together
near the base. The veins on the upper
surface are slightly raised, significantly so
on the underside. The petiole is flat and
villose. Composed of a pair of flowers,
the villose corymb inflorescence may
grow terminally or from the leaf axil.
The ten-veined, campanulate calyx
is villous basally outside and yellow
glandular dotted on the surface, and
pilose near the inside base, arranged
in a ring. The calyx is initially about
3 mm long, but expands to 1.1 cm,
spreading or drooping and swollen at
the base when fruited. The labiate calyx
has a broad upper sepal that is threelobed
and slightly longer than the lower
sepal, which has two lanceolate lobes.
The corolla is campanulate, white to
magenta, 3-4 mm long, glabrous, and
slightly pilose outside but less so inside.
The limb of the corolla is also labiate,
and composed of a slightly lobed upper
petal and three-lobed lower petal. The
sub-globose fruits are reticulate nutlets,
grayish-brown, about 1.5 mm in diameter.
In China, flowers and fruits appear in
August and linger until November to
P. frutescens grows along roadsides,
ditches, forest margins, and on
P. frutescens occurs naturally and is
also cultivated in almost all provinces
of China[172].
Economic Importance
P. frutescens is widely cultivated as a
source of medicine and spices. Perilla oil,
which is contained in the seed, is edible
and also used as a preservative[172].

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 12:41PM
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Thanks -- my husband thinks they're pretty, so I'll leave some but be sure to deadhead them before they set seed.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:59PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

that's totally purple shiso =)

we had some come up wild on the side yard a while back. reseeds like crazy. great to eat.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:40PM
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Same plant.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 8:43AM
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This is called "forced opportunity"
An edible, medicinal , tasty, aromatic plant grown under your feet, at your door steps....
I went to a great length to root some from store-bought purple shiso. But mine are not that red/purple, maybe because they are not in full sun all day. I have been also growing green shiso. Its leaves are slightly purple on the back too and they are much bigger. They make good wrappers, like grape leaves (Greek dolma=stuffed).
If You are worried about reseeding, the solution is very easy, just pinch off flower clusters when green. But then, you will not have any next year because they are annuals.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 3:38AM
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Cyrus gardner, if you want some seed at the end of the season let me know. If you're anywhere near Carrollton, I'd be glad to dig some for you.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:07PM
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Thanks Blackdogga,

Have you eaten them? Are they really shiso?
If yes, Enjoy! You can pull them up in fall, hang them in a cool fairly dark place. The leave will retain aroma and flavor for a long time, maybe a year.

I will let you know about your kind offer when the fall comes.
As I said, I planted some of them from rooting store-baught and they are growing, but not as vigorously as the green variety. But we still have a long summer ahead of us here in Atlanta area.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 2:51AM
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I'm sorry this is growing in your yard, but happy that I finally found out what it is. I planted it six years ago and am STILL trying to get rid of it. Each year, there's less, but it has a tendency to hang around. The only good thing about it is that the roots are shallow and the plant is easy to pull out.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 3:53PM
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