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African Blue Basil
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This item was last sold on : 03/15/18
African Blue basil leaves are purple and when mature they fade to a dark green with purple flecks and maroon veins. The stems are somewhat fuzzy and the plant itself is far bushier than the common garden variety basil. From its East African parent, African Blue basil has a mellow camphor (or clove-like) taste and smell. The flowers of the African Blue basil plant are a deep purple with lilac blooms.
African Blue basil is available during the summer and fall.
African Blue basil, botanically known as Ocimum kilimandscharicum X basilicum purpureum, is an accidental hybrid of East African basil and a garden variety called dark opal. This perennial basil variety is sterile, meaning it will not go to seed, and is grown mostly as an ornamental plant. Finding its place among the herbs in Florida gardens, African Blue basil was a 2006 Florida Garden Select choice.
African Blue basil has a slightly higher camphor and camphene content than the more common sweet basil variety, making it a better choice for therapeutic and medicinal practices. Basil's essential oil also includes eugenol, citronellol, limonene, linalool, citral and terpineol which are all compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.
As with most basil's the African Blue basil does not dry well. Blend with oil and freeze for future use, using ice cube trays or small containers. Use fresh leaves to give additional color and a slightly different taste to caprese salads or margarita pizzas. African Blue basil flowers also have culinary uses; add to sour cream for a distinct flavor or add with champagne or ginger ale for a refreshing twist on your cocktail.
African Blue basil is thought to originate from Kenya, Africa and was first discovered in the early 1980s by the owner of an Ohio herb nursery. The African Blue basil plant was cultivated using cuttings, because it never went to seed. Preferring warm weather, African Blue basil will grow unhindered throughout the year if the conditions are right.
Recipes that include African Blue Basil. One is easiest, three is harder.