This is likely the same basil Henri Vilmorin referred to in his 1885 seed catalog as “Large Purple Sweet Basil.”
This basil features beautiful lilac flowers with dark red stems. Excellent contrast with green basil. Spectacular as a garnish, in salads, or for adding color to basil vinegars. Very uniform, all purple Italian strain.
Plants are 20 to 21 inches tall. Easily grown in pots.
Basil may be native to India and is thought to have been grown there for over 5,000 years. The Ancient Greeks were familiar with basil and it has a long history of use in Italian and Southeast Asian cuisine.
Basil can be planted indoors 4-6 weeks before you plan on planting it outside, or directly seeded into your garden. You should only plant the seeds or seedlings outside when temperatures stay above 65 degrees Fahrenheit consistently. If you make successive sowings of basil, you can harvest the leaves all season long.
Plant the basil seeds 1/8 of an inch deep in full sun and they should germinate 5-30 days later. If you have directly seeded them you can thin them to 4-6 inches apart as they grow. When flower stalks appear, make sure to pinch them back as the flavor of the leaves will change when the plant flowers.
How to select:
Choose young, firm leaves with a fresh aroma.
How to prepare:
The flavor of basil is best when the leaves are fresh. Cooking or heating the leaves will change the flavor so add the leaves at the last minute to warm dishes.
Basil is one of the main ingredients in pesto, along with olive oil and garlic. You can also steep the leaves of basil in milk or cream and create basil flavored confections like chocolates or ice cream.
Germination rate 95% – Feb 2021
Minimum 55 seeds