Perilla Nankinensis. - Labiate family. - An annual herbaceous plant, growing from two and a half to three feet high, branching stems well covered with an ample foliage of a dark purple, almost black. Leaves petiolate, opposed to each other, entirely oval, pointed ends, the sides dented, smooth and glossy on both surfaces, sometimes slightly crisped, and exhaling, when rubbed between the fingers, an odor like cinnamon. The flowers are fasciculated at the axils of the larger leaves, bilabiate, rose or pale purple, small, but very numerous, and producing but little effect. The principal ornamental merit of this plant consists in the strange color of the foliage, which contrasts in a remarkable manner with that of most cultivated plants; its fine habit, its robust temperament, and its being an annual, make it very appropriate for masses in the borders of a flower-garden, where, from its sombre appearance, it contrasts agreeably with the brighter tints of other flowers.
The seeds should be sown in hot-beds in April, and planted out the latter part of May.