Do you know.....there are OVER SIXTY varieties of BASIL?? I've only grown maybe about twenty or so. Basil is one of the most widely-used herbs in the world. Whether it be fresh pesto, spaghetti sauce, or just throw some fresh (or dried) basil on a tomato sandwich, basil is a very versatile herb. It has medicinal qualities, too. One use is as a tea to help settle the stomach.
Basil is a member of the large mint family, and is known botanically as Ocimum basilicum. It has long been used as an embalming and preserving herb, found in mummies of ancient Egypt (Get out!) Perhaps because of its embalming usage, basil was also a symbol of mourning in Greece where it was known as basilikon phuton, meaning magnificent, royal or kingly herb.
Basil may have originated in India, however ancient records from 907 A.D. indicate sweet basil in the Hunan region of China. Basil is also known as St. Joseph's wort. (NOT to be confused with St. John's Wort). Today, basil is not only used as a food flavoring, but also in perfumery, incense, and herbal holistic remedies.
At this time I am growing the following varieties: Sweet basil, genovese basil, large leaf italian basil, boxwood, spicy globe, purple petra, ruffles, blue spice, cinnamon, lemon, lime, opal, amethyst, Christmas....I love them all!
Ya'll have an HERBY DAY! debbie