A Bounty of Basil: A Review of the Basics
Basil is a wonderful option for the warm- and hot-season edible landscape or kitchen garden. If you’re looking to add basil into your space, this post will introduce you to a few of our favorite varieties of basil, the most popular cultivars, and how those varieties of basil are used. By the end of this post, you will have a good idea of which basil plants are best for your garden, and perhaps be inspired to try a few new varieties.
The majority of basil plants come from two families: Ocimum Basilicum and Ocimum Americanum. Additionally, you may want to explore Ocimum Xcitriodorum, Ocimum Minimum, and Ocimum Gratissimum, three more compact basil varieties.
Basilicum varieties are the more common type of basil and are most often used for cooking. There are many different cultivars of Basilicum; some of the most popular ones are Genovese, Italian Large Leaf, Thai, Lemon Basil, and Holy Basil.
Ocimum Americanum is the other primary type of basil plant, and it is not as commonly found at nurseries. However, they are highly flavorful options and are delicious fresh or dried. The most popular cultivars of Americanum basils are Peruvian Purple Basil, Opal Basil, and Spicy Globe Basil.
When it comes to selecting the right type of basil plants for your garden, it is important to consider what you will be using it for. If you are looking to get basil plants growing in your garden for culinary purposes, then you will likely want to choose a Basilicum cultivar. If you are looking for basil plants that have a more ornamental purpose, then you will want to choose an Americanum or compact cultivar.