Ocimum basilicumItem #9020 USDA Hardiness Zone: 10 - 11
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The most flavorful basil for culinary use. The key herb used for pesto, pasta dishes and delicious with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Basil loves growing alongside tomato plants in a sunny garden or in containers on patio or balcony. Warm season annual; may be perennial in frost-free climates.
- DetailAverage landscape size:Reaches 12-24" tall, 12-15" wide. Shear to maintain shape.Foliage color:GreenBlooms:Prized for foliage.Flower color:WhiteFlower attributesShowy FlowersCompanion PlantsSweet Bay (Laurus); Rosemary (Rosmarinus); Lavender (Lavandula); Olea (Olive); Pomegranate (Punica)
- CareCare InformationEasily grown in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils. Apply a slow-release fertilizer in spring. Harvest leaves when young for best flavor. Pinch off flower stems regularly to encourage dense new growth.Light Needs:Full sunWatering Needs:Needs regular watering- keep soil evenly moist but not soggy.
- History & LoreLore:Ocimum, a genus of highly aromatic plants, is rooted in the Greek word ozo, which means "to smell". The French often refer to basil as "Herbe Royale", intimating its highly-regarded role in French cuisine. It has been theorized that the species name was derived from the Greek word basileus, meaning king. Oft referred to as "the king of herbs", basil's affiliation with the crown may be in part due to its historical use in regal medicine; among its multiple uses, it was considered a cure for venomous bites. Greeks and Romans believed the most potent basil could be grown only if one sowed the seed while ranting and swearing, as evidenced in the French expression "semer le basilica" (sowing basil) which means "to rant". In modern day Greece, basil remains a symbol of fertility in some religious rituals. Throughout the world, it is used as a savory culinary herb, and is the base of traditional Italian pesto sauce. It can also be found in perfumes, soaps and liqueurs.