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Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora (Thai Basil)

Thai Basil, Anise Basil, Licorice Basil, Liquorice Basil

Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora, Thai Basil, Anise Basil, Licorice Basil, Liquorice Basil

Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora (Thai Basil) is a perennial herb boasting narrow, bright-green leaves with serrated edges. Smaller than those of sweet basil, they boast a fresh and spicy flavor with a touch of licorice and clove. Unlike sweet basil, Thai Basil has sturdy leaves that stand up to prolonged heat and cooking. In summer, spikes of lavender to dark-violet flowers appear at the tops of the reddish-purple stems. Commonly used in Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisine, all parts are edible and offer a bold flavor with spicy-sweet notes of anise and black licorice. Thai Basil is well-suited for infusing flavor into broths and soups. It works equally well in simmered dishes, stir-fries, and noodle dishes.

  • Grows up to 12-18 in. tall (30-45 cm) and 12 in. wide (30 cm).
  • Performs best in light, well-drained, fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Water freely in summer. Basil is extremely frost sensitive.
  • Harvest mature leaves for fresh use at any time.
  • Although Basil naturally repels mosquitoes and flies, it attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to the garden.
  • Basil is a valuable addition to the vegetable garden and an excellent companion plant for tomatoes, peppers, parsley, lettuce, asparagus, beans, beets, cabbage, eggplant, marigolds, potatoes, or oregano. Avoid planting Basil near Rue (Ruta graveolens) and Sage (Salvia officinalis).
  • While Basil makes a colorful and flavorful addition to many dishes, it can also provide some health benefits. Basil contains many vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and essential oils. However, all these great compounds disappear during the process of drying, so opt for fresh basil whenever possible to enjoy the most benefits. Basil can help reduce inflammation in the body, lower blood pressure, fight free radicals, and reduce high blood sugar levels. Basil has antibacterial properties.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, and powdery mildews. Deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Pinch out flowerheads as they appear to ensure continued leaf growth. Cut back after flowering.
  • Propagate by seed in gentle heat in spring under glass or indoors.
  • Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora is native to Southeast Asia.

Basil: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting


Learn how to plant, grow and harvest basil and add flavor to your favorite recipes

Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Annuals, Herbs, Perennials
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Ocimum
Common names Thai Basil, Basil
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' (30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Ocimum basilicum lettuce leaf (Lettuce Leaf Basil)
Ocimum ‘African Blue’ (African Blue Basil)
Ocimum basilicum ‘Lemon’ (Lemon Basil)
Ocimum basilicum var. minimum ‘Greek’ (Greek Basil)
Ocimum basilicum ‘Lime’ (Lime Basil)
Ocimum basilicum ‘Everleaf Emerald Towers’ (Basil)

Recommended Companion Plants

Allium sativum (Garlic)
Borago officinalis (Borage)
Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile)
Origanum vulgare (Oregano)
Tagetes (Marigold)
Tropaeolum (Nasturtium)

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Best and Worst Companion Plants for Basil
Ocimum basilicum (Basil)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Annuals, Herbs, Perennials
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Ocimum
Common names Thai Basil, Basil
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' (30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Ocimum (Basil)
Not sure which Ocimum (Basil) to pick?
Compare Now

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