Basil...in all its forms.

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Hernaic Tom
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Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238101Post Hernaic Tom »

I just bought some Greek Basil (Ocimum basilicum 'minimum') from the place where I work (More on that in the intros section in a mo!), as it smells most similar (out of those I have smelled) to the thai holy basil used in Thai cuisine (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora), sometimes called Kraphao, the thought of which is making me drool as I type...

I first saw (and smelled) Holy basil in a garden outside the British museum a few years ago, and when I tasted Thai holy basil a few years later in Thai cuisine, I mistook the latter for the former.

Now I have learnt the error of my ways I am keen to try and grow Thai holy basil for its superb strong flavour.

Only recently did I realise all the different varieties of basil that exist: African blue basil, lemon basil, sweet basil, pesto basil, camphor basil, purple basil.

Anybody have any favourites?

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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238115Post grahamhobbs »

Growing holy basil for the first time this year, as a request for a friend, but is unbelievably slow growing. Will it be winter and dead before Iit gets to a size I can uSe it.

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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238120Post Millymollymandy »

Oh! I find the opposite - been eating my holy (thai) and regular basil for a while now and find they grow really fast and I can't keep up with the pinching out to keep them bushy. I keep them indoors on a sunny windowsill as holy basil hates getting wet and regular basil goes all tough and woody outside and I want the nice soft leaves for eating. I still have one plant left of last year's holy basil although it's pretty pathetic and now the new year's ones are big enough for picking enough leaves I can compost it.

Graham it's a shame you are in London as I have a load of 2nd sowing holy basil to give away - far too many plants! :(

Edit: also love the smell of lime basil but found I didn't really use it - I only grew it because I got some free seeds years back from T&M - also included purple basil but that wasn't that special.
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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238136Post Green Aura »

That's the aforementioned Greek Basil.
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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238138Post grahamhobbs »

MMM did your holy basil start very slow or was it fast from the beginning. Mine grew about 0.5cm whilst the normal had grown 10cm and one called Aristotle (similar to Greek) had grown about 5cm. It has now reached about 5cm and seems to be growing a little bit faster now.

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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238157Post Millymollymandy »

grahamhobbs wrote:MMM did your holy basil start very slow or was it fast from the beginning. Mine grew about 0.5cm whilst the normal had grown 10cm and one called Aristotle (similar to Greek) had grown about 5cm. It has now reached about 5cm and seems to be growing a little bit faster now.
It grew at the same rate as regular (large leafed normal green) basil. I sowed on 7th April and again on 22nd April (in a propagator). Granted they do need about 3 months to grow to a size where you can start to really harvest (I pinch out all the time to bush them out). Then they do me all through the winter until I start again the following spring.

Not sure where you have yours - polytunnel? Maybe it's the warmth indoors which helps it.
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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238159Post Millymollymandy »

Susie - pic no. 2 is what I call regular or normal basil (the green one that is) :iconbiggrin: - so for Graham's reference that's what I am referring to in my above post. I call the smaller leafed one Greek basil but I think it's usually smaller leafed than the one in your pic! The purple one I call purple basil :mrgreen: and the 'aniseed' one looks like regular but slightly more frilly so :dontknow:
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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238160Post grahamhobbs »

MMM, all grown alongside each other in the office in exactly the same conditions. When big enough they are planted out in the polytunnel, but the Holy basil is still in the office. Perhaps it was duff seed, can you tell me what are the distinguishing marks of the holy basil?

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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238163Post Millymollymandy »

If you google Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora which was posted before it will show you piccies, although some of the pics aren't Thai/holy basil. Wikipedia is spot on though http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_basil

Maybe it is too dry an atmosphere in your office? Offices make me think of stuffy air conditioned/centrally heated spaces with very low humidity. :?
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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238167Post Millymollymandy »

Though reading through Wikipedia there seems to be one plant called Holy Basil, and another variety called Thai Basil. Just to confuse!

I grow what I call Holy Basil which appears to be Thai Basil. I buy the seed from T&M ('Siam Queen') as I haven't found it anywhere else.
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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238168Post Millymollymandy »

And..... Maggie if you are reading this, no wonder I wondered what the seeds you sent me last year of Red Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) was, as it wasn't what I was used to and they just didn't like growing in my house and the tiny little leaves didn't really have much smell at all :( - I've just googled and that's the same as Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) not Thai Basil. Talk about confusion!!! :lol:
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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238171Post grahamhobbs »

MMM, thanks, mine is definitely the Thai Holy basil. My office is not air conditioned, just a light and airy room which suits most things including the other basils. Obviously I have the rare but little sought after, slow growing form of Holy basil.

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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238172Post Millymollymandy »

Well that one was extremely slow growing for me too - it never came to anything and after about 6 months it was no bigger than about 3 inches and very spindly and pathetic. Anyway I am glad I have learnt something new today!
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238179Post PossibleBoris »

I have 3 types on the go - the 'normal' one (used in Italian cooking), Thai basil and red basil. The smell from Thai basil is amazing, and I like using it in Thai omelettes.

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Re: Basil...in all its forms.

Post: # 238187Post julie_lanteri »

I always grow Genovese basil as it's perfect for pesto, salad, sandwiches etc.
I also got a basil multipack seeds this year and there was a dark purple basil and a green/purple one. They just pretty though, nothing compared to the Genovese...
I'd never heard of holy basil or thai basil so thanks for the info

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