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OCIMUM basilicum 'Genovese'

Image of Ocimum basilicum 'Genovese'

James H. Schutte

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

OCIMUM basilicum 'Genovese'

Plant Common Name

Basil, Italian Largeleaf Basil

General Description

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 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 and fertile to average, well-drained soil. Grow it as a spring and summer annual or all year around where winters are frost-free and mild. Water regularly for good growth and harvest the leaves often to encourage the continued growth of tender shoots and leaves. This easy herb looks great in containers and mixed borders as well as vegetable and herb gardens. Basil is the perfect companion plant for tomatoes, so plant a few at the base of their cages or trellises.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    11 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Herb

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    12"-28" / 30.5cm - 71.1cm

  • Width

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Middle Africa, Southern Africa, Southern Asia, Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes