• WordNet 3.6
    • n Perilla small genus of Asiatic herbs
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Perilla (Bot) A genus of labiate herbs, of which one species (Perilla ocimoides, or Perilla Nankinensis) is often cultivated for its purple or variegated foliage.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n perilla A genus of annual herbs of the order Labiatæ, tribe Satureineæ, and subtribe Menthoideæ, known by the four perfect didynamous stamens, the reticulated nutlets, and the declined two-lipped fruiting calyx. The 2 species are natives of eastern India and China. They bear small flowers in racemes, and usually purple or deep-violet foliage, on account of which P. Nankinensis, sometimes called beefsteak-plant, has been much used for ornamental borders. P. arguta of Japan yields an infusion used to redden table vegetables, etc.; and the oil yemola, pressed from its seeds, is used in the preparation of Japanese paper to imitate leather, and of water-proof papers for umbrellas, windows, etc.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Etymol. uncertain


In literature:

I cannot give up Perilla long, even with this young Roman as a hostage.
"Roads from Rome" by Anne C. E. Allinson
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
Perilla's some little jaunt from here, though.
"Shoe-Bar Stratton" by Joseph Bushnell Ames