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OCIMUM basilicum 'Pistou'

Image of Ocimum basilicum 'Pistou'

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

OCIMUM basilicum 'Pistou'

Plant Common Name

Basil, Pistou Basil

General Description

A compact basil that forms dense, symmetrical hummocks of petite, pungent leaves, 'Pistou' is well suited for both ornamental and culinary plantings. Of French origin, 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.

The fragrant, rich-green, oval leaves of 'Pistou' are densely borne on low, shrubby, mounded plants. The sweetly spicy leaves taste great in salads, pesto or pasta sauce. From late spring or early summer to fall, plants produce spikes of two-lipped, purple flowers. Plants that are not deadheaded will have smaller, more sharply flavored leaves.

Basil requires full sun and fertile to average, well-drained soil. Grow it as a spring and summer annual in cooler zones and a year-round perennial in warmer locations. Water regularly for good growth and harvest the leaves often to encourage the continued growth of tender shoots and leaves. Basil is the perfect companion plant for tomatoes, so consider planting a few at the base of their cages or trellises. Look for this seed-propagated cultivar in seed catalogs and garden centers.

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

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    10"-14" / 25.4cm - 35.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Asia, Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink, Lavender

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Bronze

  • 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

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes