Fresh From the Garden: 10 Types of Basil

| June/July 2008

  • Photo by Rick Wetherbee

'African Blue' Dramatic purple-streaked leaves, pink to purple flowers and a warm camphor scent make this tall variety a stand out in the garden and in bouquets.

'Cinnamon' Attractive landscape plant with purple stems and flowers and a distinctive cinnamon taste and scent. Best in fruit salads, herbal teas and Mediterranean dishes.

'Genovese' Classic large-leaf Italian type with highly aromatic leaves and spicy flavor. Excellent for fresh or frozen use and one of the best for pesto.

'Holy Basil' Also known as ‘Sacred’ basil or tulsi (O. sanctum). Stunning in the landscape and very aromatic, with clove-scented leaves. Best used as a salad garnish or in herbal teas.

'Italian Large Leaf' Excellent Italian type is extremely productive; large green leaves are slightly sweeter than those of other basils. A favorite for cooking.

'Lemon' Compact plant has smaller leaves than other types and a strong lemony scent. The strains ‘Mrs. Burns’ and ‘Sweet Dani’ have slightly larger leaves better suited to cooking. Great for fish, chicken, vegetable and fruit dishes, or use to accent soups, salads and desserts. Makes a tasty, lemony pesto.

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