Basil Varieties

Cinnamon

  • More of a novelty, has a cinnamon flavor
  • Great in Moroccan & exotic dishes
  • May be used to repel insects
  • Very pungent, use cooked for best results
  • Used dried for tea or potpourri

Citriodorum

  • Intense lemon flavor
  • Compact bush type, to 12” high
  • Best to plant in place
  • Great for flavoring teas & oils

Crispum

  • Lettuce leaf, large leaves with rich flavor, not as strong as sweet basil for stuffing and wrapping
  • Grows to 18”, compact plants, slower to flower
  • Holds up well in hot weather
  • Most productive of the basils
  • Use for pesto & stuffing & wrapping
  • Rich flavor, not as strong as sweet basil

Dark Opal

  • Purple bronze foliage, red stems & lilac flowers
  • Perfect for the ornamental garden
  • Beautiful as a garnish or adding color to basil vinegars & salads

Genovese

  • Classic Sweet basil, pesto basil
  • Grows fast to 2 ½ feet, standard large leaves
  • Prized for its spicy flavor & aroma
  • Best basil for pesto
  • May flower quickly & die out, so plant successive plantings

Greek Columnar

  • Great flavor, is late to flower if it does
  • Grows up 3-5 feet
  • Harvest year round- overwinter inside in cold climes
  • A stronger flavored basil, use sparingly & in hearty dishes like stew
  • Usually sold as plants only

Green Ruffles

  • Curly & serrated large leaves
  • Grows to 24”

Mammoth

  • Tasty with sweet fragrance
  • Very large leaves great for wrapping
  • Grows 18-24”

Mayo/Yaqui

  • Good for low desert areas
  • Medium sized, fragrant, shiny green leaves
  • Purple-pink spikes with white flowers
  • One of most attractive basils
  • Excellent for cooking and flavoring oils & vinegars

Minette

  • Dwarf sweet basil, only 10 inches
  • Dense, compact plants with small ½ inch leaves
  • Good for edging & containers

Piccolo Verde Fino

  • Strong basil flavor
  • Flavor retained after flowering
  • Small leaves great for salads & garnish

Purpurascens

  • Also called Purple Ruffles
  • Large purple-red foliage with pink flowers
  • Beautiful. Ornamental plant with pink flowers
  • Tea-like scent
  • Use fresh
  • Not as sweet or strong as green sweet basil

Sanctum

  • Holy basil, reddish purple stems
  • Deep, spicy clove, cinnamon, lemon scent
  • Rare basil, grown outside holy sanctuaries in India

Siam Queen (Thai)

  • Purple leaf underside
  • Compact, great container plant
  • Leaves twice the size of other Thai basils
  • Sweet & spicy licorice flavor with a clove scent
  • Used in Vietnamese cuisine

Spicy Globe

  • Small round shape with small leaves
  • Fragrant edging plant in the landscape or in containers
  • White flowers
  • Spicy flavor

Sweet Dani

  • Clean lemon flavor
  • Small leaved, 2-2 ½ feet tall
  • Great fresh or dried
  • Use in ice tea, flavored oils & vinegars