(85 days) Open-pollinated. Introduced in the 1850s from Japan where it’s been prized since the 8th century. Purplish-red anise-scented sharp-flavored leaves are used in sushi, sauces, garnishes, pickles and stir-fries. Used to color umeboshi plums and other pickles red. Also known as zi su, a specific in Chinese medicine for seafood poisoning. Louise Weber of Greenwich, Conn., asserts that deer won’t touch it and plants it around their favorite crops. ③
3283 Red Shiso
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Culture: To break dormancy, freeze and thaw the seed several times over a 21–45 day period. Soak seeds several days or until they sprout. Move to indoor flats, then transplant into warm moist well-drained soil. Grows up to 4'. Absolutely intolerant of frost.