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bush, garden, sweet; Herbe royale

Lamiaceae (Labiatae) Ocimum basilicum L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Basil is of the same plant family as the mints, but the plant is an annual, grown from seed. The plant is branched, and 1 to 2 feet in height. The leaves are entire or toothed, opposite on the stem, ovate in shape. The dried leaves are used to flavor stews, dressings and soups. The essential oil, extracted from the leaves, is used in perfumes and to flavor liquors.

Season, seeding to harvest: 4 to 5 months.

Production in the U.S.: 50 acres reported, 1954 census.

Use: Flavoring in culinary, liquors.

Part of plant consumed: Leaves and young stems dried, or as source of essential oil.

Last update December 5, 1997