basils used for cooking, or culinary basils, are cultivars of the sweet
basil species Ocimum basilicum.
Loosely translated, Ocimum
basilicum means "the king of fragrance."
A traditional herb used in Italian, Mediterranean, and Thai cookery,
basil is one of the most widely used herbs in modern cooking.
It adds flavor to pasta, rice, tomatoes, cheese, soups, salads, fish
and poultry dishes.
During the summer, basil will benefit from a two- to three- inch layer
of organic mulch to help retain soil moisture and minimize weeds.
Basil thrives in warm weather and will benefit from one inch of water
Do not fertilize, as this will result in a decrease in flavor.
flavor, harvest basil just as the flower buds begin to form. Harvest in
the morning just after the dew has evaporated.
The best strategy for harvesting basil is to leave enough foliage on
the plant so it will continue to grow. Cut top leaves off
about 1/4 inch above a pair of leaves lower down on the stem.
Basil may then be harvested every two to three weeks.
Basil plants have beautiful, edible and attractive flowers that can be
used for garnishes.
is a Thai basil
that has bright green leaves, purple red stems and violet-pink flowers,
which make a beautiful specimen in the garden. As with other
culinary basil plants, its leaves may be harvested and used in cooking.
University of Illinois College of
Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; (217)782-4617
Large Leaf Italian
Queen Basil Seeds
Herb Garden Kit
from the grower
Plants & Seeds
from the grower