Perilla frutescens

Beefsteak Plant

Origin Of Species
Physical Description
Beefsteak plants are small, freely branching annual herbs that reach between eighteen and thirty inches in height.  Small ovate leaves are generally purple or green and are arranged in an opposite formation along the four-sided stem.  Small bell-shaped flowers are white and purple with a distinctive ring of fine hairs along the bottom.  They may be arranged in a terminal cluster or within the leaf axils and appear between July and October.  Stems and leaves have a very strong characteristic odor.
Habitat And Distribution
Beefsteak plants are prominent along roadsides, pastures, fields, and woodlands throughout the central, eastern, and southern United States.
Location On Campus
Beefsteak plants are common roadside weeds along River Road.
Negative Impacts
Often planted as showy ornamentals, beefsteak plants may readily escape cultivation, spreading to disturbed areas where they disrupt native ecosystems.  They are toxic and thus have very few predators, which allows them to spread virtually unchecked.
VDCR Invasiveness Ranking
Occasionally Invasive Species

Additional Images: Leaves with stem   Leaves with stem

Back to common names...   Back to scientific names...   Back to herbs...