Perilla frutescens ‘Balmagpurp’ (Magilla® Purple Perilla)

Perilla frutescens ‘Balmagpurp’ (Magilla Purple Perilla) on 7-12-14, #231-73.

Beefsteak Plant, Magilla Purple Perilla

Magilla® Purple Perilla

Perilla frutescens ‘Balmagpurp’

per-IL-uh  froo-TESS-enz

Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton is the correct and accepted scientific name of this plant. It was documented as such by Nathaniel Lord Britton in Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club in 1894. It was first named Ocimum frutescens by Carl Linnaeus and documented in Species Plantarum in 1753.

Strange, the Perilla frutescens is the only accepted species in the genus. There are also three accepted infraspecific names listed on Plants of the World Online. Other species formerly in the genus either became synonyms of Perilla frutescens, one of its varieties or moved to other genera.

I bought this colorful Perilla in 2014. It had ‘Coleus” looking leaves and I love Coleus, so I bought it. I kept it in a pot and it did very well and there were never any issues.

Besides this cultivar, the traditional Perilla frutescens has nice shiny, dark purple leaves. It is said they are very similar in habit to the Coleus but with stronger stems. The Perilla are also very heat, shade and drought tolerant

The name Magilla® Purple Perilla was possibly patented by Ball Seed Company. However, the name Perilla frutescens ‘Balmagpurp’ is likely to have come from its actual source (and you need a flower license to sell). Many plants are developed in other countries and marketed under a different name than when they come to the US.


Perilla frutescens-Magilla® Purple Perilla on 7-12-14, #231-73.

FAMILY: Lamiaceae (mint family)
ZONES: Plants are hardy down to 32 degrees F.
LIGHT: Sun to part shade. The colors of the leaves intensify with brighter light.
SIZE: Maybe up to 36” x at least 18” wide.
WATER: Average water requirements. Water when dry, especially those plants grown in pots.
FLOWERS: Similar to the coleus and other members (not all) of the mint family.
USES: Great in containers, mixed planters, and beds.

The seeds of the Perilla are high in dietary fiber, calcium, iron, niacin, protein, and thiamine and used in various ways. The leaves are also used fresh or cooked and even sometimes used as a basil substitute… Hmmm.

Perilla is used in traditional medicine for respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. It has recently been used in trials for the treatment of some cancers.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


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