Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora)

Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora)

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Learn about the complex-but-universal greatness of the Ociumum family when you grow and harvest bundles of Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora). This is a compact-type basil with distinctive traits and uses that make it a worthwhile addition to your herb garden. It can be planted as an ornamental, or for edible or fragrant gardens. Thai basil is native to Southeast Asia, where its distinct anise-meets-licorice flavor is a highlight of local cuisines like soups, stir-fries, and curries.  The flavor comes from its naturally high content of methyl chavicol.  At maturity, Thai basil features narrow, green leaves, unfurling from purple stems, and complemented by pink-purple flowers in the growing season. 

Like other basil plant varieties, the Thai basil plant is adaptable and prone to vigorous growth, with possible harvests throughout a single year. Plant care is particularly easy. It should be planted in well-drained soil, high in organic matter. As a rule of thumb, harvest basil as often as its growth allows. As a lesser-known basil variety, Thai basil is valued for its distinct aroma and heat tolerance in cooking. It adds a peppery, warm and spicy flavor, compared to sweet basil types more commonly sold and grown.

Plant Type
Perennial Evergreen Herb
May be grown as an Annual north of Zone 8

Harvest Season
Year-round, as needed

Mature Size
Up to 2 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide

Soil & Moisture
Rich, well-draining, slightly acidic soil

Light Requirements
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile
Yes

Growth Rate
Medium

Zone Hardiness
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation
Grown from seed and ready to harvest now (within 3-4 weeks of sowing).

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