Basil - Ocimum Basilicum
Botanical Name: Ocimum Basilicum
Common Names: great basil, St. Joseph's Wort, Thai basil
What parts of the basil plant are used?
Both the leaves and the flowers are edible.
How do you identify basil and where is it grown?
This short-lived plant is part of the Lamiaceae family and is primarily grown for its glossy, deep green, oval-shaped leaves. Varieties can vary, growing anywhere from a compact 15 inches tall, to a leggy five feet. The plant will flower—sweet basil has delicate white flowers—that you can pinch back to encourage robust leaf growth. The strong scent and minty flavor make this herb popular in tomato-based dishes and pesto
Basil can be found growing in many tropical regions in Asia, including in India where it is revered as a holy plant mainly for the multiple medicinal benefits it offers. It is this belief that has earned basil the nickname: “King of Herbs” or “Royal Plant.”
Why people love basil!
This popular herb is easy-to-grow and a staple in Italian cuisine. Even novices in the kitchen are familiar with this easy-to-use herb as a flavorful seasoning.