Cultivated Basil Varities (cultivars)

There are an astounding number of basil (Ocimum) varieties, 60 plus, available for growing yourself. The leaves are mostly green, where some have grayish, purple or red leaves. Here is information on 17 of them:

African Blue
O.basilicum ‘Dark Opal’ x O. kilimandscharicum
Egg shaped with blue-purple veins underneath, lavender flowers on 6″ spikes
Sweet with camphor notes Hybrid basil, are at home in scented mixes and floral arrangements than in foods

O. basilicum ‘Ararat’
Leaves streaked with purple, pink flowers
Sweet with taste of licorice
Heirloom variety, useful in the kitchen and in flower arrangements

Aroma 1, Aroma 2,
F1 hybrids
Glossy, dark green leaves, classic aroma
Classic basil flavor Genovese type basil bred to be
Fusarium wilt resistant.
Aussie Sweet, Greek Columnar
O. basilicum ‘Lesbos’
Light green leaves, little or no flowers.
Basil flavor with mint overtones
Grows more in a tall, columnar shape than a rounded bush

Dark Opal
O. basilicum x O. forskolei
Deep purple leaves, flowers from white to deep fuchsia Varied flavor
Genetically unstable when grown from seed, plants highly variable

O. basilicum ‘Genovese’
White flowers on 6″ stems
Classic basil flavor
Perfect for pesto lovers, reliable producer in many areas

Green Ruffles
O. basilicum x O. americanum
Large ruffled green leaves, white flowers
Sweet basil with hints of anise and mint
Delightfully large lettuce-like leaves

Lemon, Mrs. Burns Lemon
O. basilicum x O. americanum
Long smooth and green, 5-10″ flower spikes
Distinctive lemon and basil
A must-have for gourmet cooks.
Self-sows easily in warm areas.

Nufar, F1 hybrid
Dark green quilted leaves, pink flowers
Genovese type basil bred to be
Fusarium wilt resistant

Pesto Perpetuo
O. x citriodorum
Green leaves with white margins and dark green streaks, no flowers
Strong “sweet basil”
Hardy to freezing temperatures, may survive winter in warm climates, columnar growth

Purple Ruffles
O. basilicum
Purple with green variegations
Mild flavor
Wide variation in plants when grown from seed

Red Rubin
O. basilicum purpurascens
Deep reddish purple flat leaves, lavender blossoms
Strong spicy flavor
Bred from ‘Dark Opal,’ more disease resistant, germinates easily, good for herbal vinegars

Spicy Globe, Spicy Bush
O. basilicum minimum
Compact plant with light green leaves and serrated edges
Strong spicy
Excellent for container gardens

O. basilicum
Light green, tightly packed on stem, resists flowering
Good pesto flavor
Heavy producer, rarely goes to seed

Sweet Green
O. basilicum
Medium green slightly puckered leaves
Classic basil taste
Plants universally available, popular in the kitchen; repels mosquitoes

Thai, Thai Magic
O. basilicum
Dark green pointed leaves, maroon cone-shaped florescence
Strong anise taste
Use in Southeast Asian cooking

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