The Q&A Archives: Purple Plant

Question: Last year I had the pleasure of community gardening. At the end of the season I walked around picking up dried flowers with the idea of planting them this spring. It worked great, I scratched up some soil, ground the flowers between my hands into the soil, and watched them grow. Only problem is, one of the plants took over the spot. It is purple, about 30 inches tall with a stem about 1inch diameter at the base and has leaves the size of an adult hand. The growth that would be considered the flower is fuzzy like a coleus type plant. This could be a foreign plant. What is it?

Answer: I think you might have grown some perilla, an annual which is used in Asian cooking and occasionally as a decorative plant in ornamental gardens. It is a prolific self seeder as you have discovered!

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