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Basil is king of the summer garden, the most popular annual herb in America, and the subject of adulation and festivals. It is fast-growing, prolific, and the essential ingredient in an array of lively summer dishes. The basil crown is found atop pesto, that rich, oily, green Italian paste that celebrates summer breezes and warm friendship. Not only is basil a valuable tool in the kitchen, several of its forms are also highly ornamental and dress the landscape with their wondrous shapes and colors.
Basils are native to tropical climes and are considered annuals in our climate because they are hardy to only 32°F. They require a minimum of four hours of direct sun per day. They should be planted in a soil that is rich, loamy, and well-drained with a pH range of 4.3 to 8.2. Height is quite variable amongst the different forms, ranging from 10 inches to 4 feet tall.
Basils are available at the end of April, but please, don't plant them outdoors until the warmth of frost free mid May because these tender plants react unfavorably to cool temperatures below 50°F and/or damp weather.
Basil.Ocimum basilicum 'Amethyst Improved'. Purple Genovese type. Nearly black, large, turned down leaves. Plants are 16 to 20 inches tall.
Basil, Anise.Ocimum basilicum. Sometimes sold as Licorice or Thai basil. Heart-shaped green leaves have a spicy anise aroma with a hint of mint and citrus. Stems have a reddish-purple blush; flowers are light pink. Plants average 24 inches high.
Basil.Ocimum basilicum 'Ararat'. Striking foliage is infused with purple markings. Strong sweet flavor with an anise overtone. Perfect for salads, pesto, tomato dishes, and as a garnish.
Basil, Cinnamon.Ocimum. A variety from Mexico with a clean spicy aroma with a hint of cinnamon. Green leaves are distinctly veined. Light lavender flowers are held on purple-stained stems. Plants may reach 3 feet high.
Basil.Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal'. One of the first commercially available purple basils. A good choice for flavoring oils and vinegars. The flavor is slightly citrusy with anise, spice and mint overtones.
Basil, Genoa Green.Ocimum basilicum 'Genovese Verde Migliorato'. A variety distinguished by a well rounded flavor without the cloying sweetness of more common basils. Our most popular variety and the only one we use for pesto. Clear white flowers on 6 to 8 inch stems. Plants are 24 to 30 inches high.
Basil.Ocimum basilicum 'Genovese'. Classic Genovese type with balanced flavor. Tall and relatively slow to bolt with large, dark green leaves about 3" long. Leaves are slightly larger and paler than our Genoa Green basil. Height: 24-30 inches.
Basil, Greek.Ocimum basilicum 'Karamanos'. Chris and Popi Karamanos returned from Greece with seeds of this variety and shared them with us. Green leaves are small and pointed. The flavor is a combination of anise, spice, and cinnamon. The plant forms a beautiful, tight, perfect sphere 17 to 24 inches high. White flowers. Space on 12 to 15 inch centers.
Basil, Red And Green Holy.Ocimum sanctum. Single plant has both red and green leaves and musky scent. Grows 16 to 20 inches tall and aobut 10 inches wide. Limited supply.
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Basil, Lemon.Ocimum basilicum 'Mrs. Burns' Lemon'. Large leaves and a strong lemon aroma characterize this unique lemon variety. It is wonderful in salads and makes a delightful summer ice tea. Try combining ground beef and finely chopped lemon basil leaves. Great for summer cookouts. Plants may reach nearly 3 feet high and 2 feet wide.
Basil, Lemon.Ocimum basilicum 'Sweet Dani'. Here is a big, broad-shouldered basil that boasts big harvests of strongly lemon-scented foliage. The plant quickly reaches 30 inches with leaves 2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. This delightful new basil is the breeding work of Jim Simon and Mario Morales at Purdue University. 1998 All-American Selection.
Basil, Lime.Ocimum americanum. A 26-inch tall basil with a distinctly zesty lime aroma. Keep a plant handy to use leaves on fish and in salads.
Basil.Ocimum basilicum 'Magical Michael'. 2002 All-Amercia Selection. This attractive, bushy basil has olive green leaves with red veining and stems. Sweet type basil with fuity aroma and long lasting, burgundy inflorescensces.
Basil.Ocimum basilicum 'Mammoth'. Large, sweet, puckered leaves. Space 18 inches apart. Use in salads, sauces, and with vegetables.
Basil.Ocimum basilicum 'Marseilles'. Dwarf, bushy plants with medium sized aromatic leaves. Height to 12 inches.
Temporarily Out Of Stock