African Blue Basil is a beautiful bushy plant with fuzzy leaves and light purple flowers. If you want to start growing basil, this variety is sure to please.
Have you grown, tasted, cooked with or had any experience at all with this basil variety? If you have, I'd love to hear about it! share your experience here.
African Blue Basil, sometimes referred to as African Basil, Dark Opal Basil or Opal Basil, is a beautiful, bushy plant. It produces fuzzy purple leaves that turn green as the leaves grow to full size.
This variety is often referred to as an accidental hybrid. It is a cross between Dark Opal Basil and African Camphor Basil. It is a sterile hybrid that will not produce seeds and must be started from cuttings of existing plants.
If you are using this basil for ornamental purposes and do not pinch it back, it will produce long spikes of light purple flowers. If left unpinched, this plant will grow up to 4 feet tall and just as wide, but should be pruned occasionally to maintain its bushy appearance.
The strong camphor scent of this variety attract bees and when the flowers appear, the bees get happier and more abundant.
If you plan to use your plant as a culinary herb, pinch the flowers off. The plant will only grow about 2 feet tall and wide if pinched. Since it is a sterile hybrid, it will not go to seed and die if left unpinched, but pinching the flowers will force the plant to produce more leaves. In a culinary herb garden, you want as many leaves as possible.
As a result of the cross with African Camphor Basil, this variety has a strong camphor scent which makes it sweet, but more like clove in flavor than the typical licorice flavor of other basil varieties.
African Blue Basil also grows very well in a container. It is an extremely drought-tolerant herb. It will do fine in sun or partial shade, but should get at least 2 to 3 hours of sun per day.
This is one of the most cold tolerant of all basil varieties. For this reason, it is sometimes called a perennial, but, like all basil varieties, it is still somewhat sensitive to cold weather. If you are growing this variety outdoors, and you live in a cold climate, bring it inside for the winter.
If you have planted it in the ground, it is a good idea to root some cuttings in early fall. Place the cuttings in a glass of water for a few days. When roots form, transplant the cuttings to a pot with soil and let your plant to continue to grow indoors. When the weather warms up again you can bring it back outside and give it a new home in your garden.
Have you grown or tasted African Blue Basil? Tell us what you thought!
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During a recent stay at the Ritz Carlton on Lake Oconee, Ga, my husband and I were served a wonderful honey with African Blue Basil in it. We were so …
I was given some dried African Blue Basil by my sister and I loved the taste so much that when I saw a small potted plant in our organic gardening store, …
bee attractor Not rated yet
A friend of mine gave me a couple of ABB plants and put them in my garden next to my Genovese basil and when they matured and flowered I noticed not only …
A Hidden GEM!!! Not rated yet
I stumbled across this plant in my local nursery. It was being touted as a good companion plant for squash. Still got squash bugs and squash borers …
1bruno2 Not rated yet
I grow this (African Blue Basil) in Arizona in full sun. Loves the sun and even lived thru 2 uncommon frosts we had last winter. Very hardy and pretty …