James H. Schutte
(Caucasus Catmint, Large-flowered Catmint)
Like it parent species, ‘Dawn to Dusk’ is known as catnip for its narcotic effects on felines. It is a hardy perennial, descended from a native of the Caucasus region of eastern Europe by way of extensive breeding to yield more attractive garden forms. Its leaves are small, scalloped, and a soft gray-green color. They may or may not be felted with tiny hairs. The leaves are set opposite one another on the stems which may be straight or branched depending on how the plant is trimmed. They share a...
Small and tidy, this is a dwarf selection of catmint and has narcotic effects on felines. This species is native to the Caucasus, Turkey and Iran where the climate is cold and dry. It has undergone extensive breeding to yield more garden-worthy forms such as this dwarf, ‘Snowflake.’ Its leaves are small, scalloped, soft gray-green and set opposite one another on the stems. Its low, spreading habit remains compact without pruning and has none of the legginess of its predecessors. It emits a musky,...
(African Blue Basil, Hybrid Basil)
Big, beautiful ‘African Blue’ basil is a hybrid of Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal,' a purple-leafed sweet basil and Ocimum kilimandscharicum, camphor basil. It is grown as much for its lovely leaves as it is for cooking. The large leaves are purple when they first emerge and mature to dark, shiny green with purple veins and undersides. The fragrance and flavor is spicy with hints of camphor. The upright, bushy plants are large and ideal for sunny garden spots.
In summer basil produces...
Gerald L. Klingaman
For many, this is the perfect culinary herb with a thousand and one flavorful uses. Sweet basil is a bushy annual, or short-lived evergreen perennial, that originates from Eurasia and Africa. It has been broadly cultivated for centuries and boasts a wide array of cultivars of varying sizes, colors, textures and tastes. Anyone who has compared the sweet, aromatic flavor of large-leaved Italian basil to the sharp flavor of purple-leaved basil can tell you they are profoundly different. Some basil cultivars...
Environmental Horticulture Dept. University of Florida
A dense, mounding, small-leaved plant that does indeed resemble a dwarf boxwood, this basil has both ornamental and culinary value. It is one of hundreds of selections of Ocimum basilicum, an annual or short-lived perennial from tropical Asia that has long been cultivated for its aromatic, flavorful leaves.
Boxwood basil bears dense masses of tiny, green, opposite leaves on low, rounded plants. The sweetly spicy leaves taste great in salads, pesto or pasta sauce, and the plants are perfect...
James H. Schutte
(Basil, Cinnamon Basil)
Cinnamon basil is a spicy cultivar of sweet basil. It has purple stems, pink to lavender flowers and a compact habit. The spicy, cinnamon-like scent and flavor of the leaves comes from the same aromatic compound that gives the bark of the cinnamon tree its delicious bouquet. This garden selection was probably made from plants in Mexico and is popular for use in hot drinks or to give an exotic flavor to pasta sauces.
As summer warms up, cinnamon basil produces spikes of flowers. After blooming,...
(Basil, Curlyleaf Basil, Savoyleaf Basil)
This pungent but sweet basil has the added value of crisp, savoyed leaves that offer real visual appeal. It has a tidy, bushy habit and lots of bright green, large, curly or ruffled leaves. This pretty garden selection is favored for salads and cooked dishes. Some claim its flavor is not mellow enough for pesto, but flavor can vary depending on soil and growing conditions, so taste your own before reaching this conclusion.
For many, basil is the perfect culinary herb. It is a bushy annual, or...
For many, basil is the perfect culinary herb. It is a bushy annual, or short-lived perennial, that originates from Africa and Asia. As summer warms up, it produces spikes of two-lipped, white flowers. After flowering, plants put fewer resources towards foliage production and more towards flowers and seeds. This results in smaller, stronger, more acrid tasting leaves. So, it is best to pick off buds as they appear to keep plants from blooming.
Satisfyingly easy to grow, basil requires full sun...
James H. Schutte
(Basil, Italian Largeleaf Basil)
This large, lettuce-leaf basil is one of the best Italian cultivars for salads and pesto. It has extra big, bright green, richly flavored leaves. The plants are slow to bolt, which means they flower later and spend more time producing lots of leaves for eating. This vigorous selection has an upright, bushy habit and excels in the garden with minimal care.
For many, basil is the perfect culinary herb. It is a bushy annual, or short-lived perennial, that originates from Africa and Asia. As summer...
James H. Schutte
With its showy flowers and handsome foliage, this recent introduction from Hishtil Nurseries in Israel is well suited for both ornamental and culinary plantings. It is one of hundreds of selections of Ocimum basilicum, an annual or short-lived perennial from tropical Asia that has long been cultivated for its aromatic, flavorful leaves.
This basil bears large, oval green leaves with purple flushing and veining on upright, rounded plants. The sweetly spicy leaves taste great in salads,...