Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora)
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 grow. 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.