Landrace Shiso (Perilla frutescens) MINT FAMILY

For those who Don’t know,
Shiso (Perilla frutescens) is a Japanese plant from Mint Family. Has a very Nice Spicy Minty Flavor. All above ground parts are edible raw or cooked. Check out PFAF for more info

PFAF : Perilla frutescens Shiso, Beefsteakplant, Spreading Beefsteak Plant PFAF Plant Database

I want to Landrace it to make the Best Tasting Variety. It already grows wild like a weed in my area. I foraged my Seeds from Green & Purple Forms and had them cross last year in my Local Forrest. (Because I Have no Land to Landrace so I just use my Local Forest Edges).

Thankfully Shiso is VERY Groundhog, Squirrel & Deer Resistant.
So far I am impressed with what I developed, any body interested in shiso (Perilla frutescens) and wants to Cross Pollinate Ideas with me? Or just discuss Ideas? I’m new here but very knowledgeable because you guys already thought me so much.

1 Like

Sounds like a really promising project. I wonder how much perilla naturally outcrosses.
Species that self sow prolifically sometimes need a bit of thought put into how to control reproduction, and unwanted backcrossing to the feral forms (though that can sometimes be useful).
I’m guessing Japan might be the best source for wider diversity. Is the species also found on the mainland of Asia? The centre of origin of a species is usually the best shot to get starting diversity to work with. The GRIN seedbank might be worth searching if you are in the USA.

Just checked the wiki page and it is pretty good (Perilla - Wikipedia). Several distinct cultivated forms plus wild forms that can all cross it seems. Nice to know the seeds and sprouts are useful for food too- might open up new options in breeding.

Hand crossing tiny Lamiaceae flowers is a little bit painful since you only get four seeds per flower, but it only takes a few dozen definite hybrid seed to start a breeding program.

1 Like

I like the idea of using local forest edges as your landrace development area.

1 Like

Yup, It’s all I got. Also Foraging has thought me that the Edges are always the most productive. Makes sense because if you treat the Forrest like a single plant, all the new growth happens on the most outer parts.

Perilla outcrosses like Crazy, they are all the same species and are also all Truly Wild here!
Very true, Perilla self sows like crazy, I just Pull a plant that taste bad to me and harvest the remaining plants that passed my taste test.

Also the wild forms I forage also taste pretty good, so if the cross back with them, I’m Happy. Plus I literally started with those wild plants, I just brought 2 wild populations together since they didn’t do on their own because of Distance.

Very True, Japen would have the most cultivars and Diversity but the Wild American Types here are also good. They have developed their own ecotype and would also contribute vauluable genetics if crossed with Japanese Varieties.

DUDE OMFG, I think you broke my Mind with the GRIN Seedbank. This is exactly what I needed, Now I don’t even have to travel different states to get seeds from the wild. THANK YOU! Also have you ever bought from them? How fast is Shipping and Price? Do they know about this website? Do they want to work with us (Like Can we all Cross Pollinate our ideas with them)?

Oh yea, Shiso makes excellent Microgreens, not to mention also Roots from cutting which would be a useful technique to Multiply that plant’s representation with in a population. If I only had 3 Red Shisho Plants in a Population, through Cuttings I can get 20 Red Shiso plants thus putting more emphasize on that trait in a given population.

Hand Crossing is not really needed, plus I like to Eat the Flowers. Anyways I Just grap too plants that are Flowering next to each other, and have both Flower Clusters rub each other (Like Helping out Shiso with literal plant sex). But most insects already facilitate this easily, well at least in my area.

I havent used GRIN before but someone one here should have. I think they only supply to people in the USA who can convince them they are serious growers. Offering to supply fresh seed for the bank might help convince them.
It sounds like you have the foundation for a really amazing project. Do you plan to only develop a leaf vegetable form, or experiment with seed production as well? Just tasting every plant in a freshly hybridised population and culling off types is enough to achieve great results.

1 Like

I plan to develop any thing I like, I’m basically telling the Shiso to Surprise me. I would like Good Tasting Plants in general, all parts if possible. Like good Leaves, Good Flowers, Good Seeds Taste, etc. My Goals are…

  1. has to survive my Climate and Gardening Practices, and pests.
  2. Has to Yield Well despite what I or Nature Trows at it.
  3. Must Taste Good, if possible Sweet Flavor is preferred because I have a Sweet Tooth!
  4. Must be easy to Harvest (Which the wild ones are already so It passed this Test already)
  5. Lots of Genetic Diversity, Preferable Lots of Purples, Reds, Greens, Dark Greens, and mix of all colors so long as they taste good and yield well.

Basically where ever my landrace goes, or what my Landrace wants to be I will nudge into what I want as well. Nature chooses something she likes, I choose Something I like and everyone is happy!