Perilla frutescens var frutescens
A truly beloved plant, kkaennip has been cultivated in Korea since the Bronze Age. It's a short day plant, growing vegetatively during the lengthening days of summer, and flowering when the nights lengthen.
This variety is the classic large leaf type used for ssam, flavorful and hardy enough for janggaji. Green on top with golden lilac undersides, our plants have a bushy stature, providing continual leaf harvest.
Seed variety is by Second Generation Seeds, our collaboration with farmer Kristyn Leach.
- Warm season annual
- Approx. 200 seeds in packet. (A seed will vary in weight and size within a given seed lot. The number of seeds stated is only an estimate.)
- Maturity: Approx. 70 days
- Planting season: Late spring-early summer
Cultivation: Direct seed in early spring when fear of frost has passed. Start seedlings indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost. When germinating seeds, keep soil moist but not overly saturated. Don't cover seeds too much, gently tamp them into soil. They need light to germinate, but also reasonable contact with soil medium. Perilla can survive in most soil types and in full sun or partial shade. Position in relation to sun can affect leaf thickness, as well as color. They like moderate watering and get stressed during periods of prolonged drought.
Harvest individual leaves from the bottom up, or trim at a node to promote branching.
Flowers form on a raceme at each bud in the fall, initiated by lengthening nights. When flowering begins, hold back on harvesting leaves. Plants need the surface are to make food and channel energy into the developing seed. Each flower will produce four seeds, developing from the base of the plant upwards. As the seed matures, the calyx will swell, gradually forming a sort of bell shape. Seeds are white when developing, and will dry to a brown/gray color. If most of the flowers seem mature and the seed is sized up, you can cut at the base and finish drying inside. Keep them in a shaded, relatively cool and dry area with good air circulation around the plants. When ready to thresh, give the plants a shake and you should hear the seeds inside. Thresh and winnow. Seeds should fall out when ready.
For best germination, seed should be stored at 41°F until planted.
||Surface sown, lightly tamped into soil"
Please note: Maturity, adaptability and disease tolerance may differ under your specific climate and/or growing conditions.
Culinary tips: Kkaennip is sometimes called a "rice thief". It traditionally gets pickled in a soy brine with chilies and green onions and then is wrapped around rice. Dried leaves make a delicious tea.