Weed of the Month: Perilla Mint

Perilla mint is toxic to horses and the greatest risk of consumption is in late summer or early fall.

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Weed of the Month: Perilla Mint
Perilla Mint | Photo: Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Common name: Perilla mint (also beefsteak mint, common perilla)
Scientific name: Perilla frutescens (L.) Britt.

Life Cycle: Annual
Origin: Asia
Poisonous: Yes, all plant parts

Perilla mint is an erect annual plant of the mint family. It was introduced as an ornamental plant because of its attractive green leaves with purple leaf edges, but escaped cultivation and is now a serious poisoning threat to horses and other livestock.

Perilla mint grows in moist soils of pastures, woodlands, stream banks, and other fields in most of the eastern United States. It can reach two feet in height at maturity. Leaves are opposite and coarsely serrated, and the stems are branched, square, and frequently have a purplish color. The plant has a strong pungent minty odor when crushed

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