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September 2012
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African blue basil is one of a few types of perennial basil.

Images of African Blue Basil at

African blue basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum ‘Dark Opal’) is one of a few types of perennial basil.
• It is a sterile hybrid of two other breeds of basil.
• It is unable to produce seeds of its own.
• It is propagated by cuttings.
• This particular breed of basil has a strong camphor scent.
• It is inherited from Ocimum kilimandscharicum (camphor basil) which is its East African parent.
• The concentration of camphor is 22%.
• The concentration of the other major aroma compounds, linalool (55%), and 1, 8-cineole (15%).
• The high camphor content can interfere with its use in cooking.
• It is an attractive ornamental.
• The leaves of African blue basil start out purple when young.
• It grows green as the given leaf grows to its full size retaining purple veins.
• It blooms profusely like an annual.
• Basil is grown for its fragrant tasty leaves.
• They can be added raw to salads, sandwiches or used in cooked dishessuch which is the ever popular pasta with tomato and basil sauce.

They are scientifically classified as:
• Kingdom: Plantae
• (unranked): Angiosperms
• (unranked): Eudicots
• (unranked): Asterids
• Order: Lamiales
• Family: Lamiaceae
• Genus: Ocimum

Growing and Caring conditions for African blue basil

• Growing Basil is relatively easy if there are suitable light and temperature levels provided to the plant.
• Ensure that adequate drainage is allowed from the base of the pot, if grown in pots.
• Line with coarse gravel if necessary.
• If growing outside then ensure the soil is well dug over.
• Weed free the soil well before sowing.
• Before sowing ensure that the compost or soil is moist.
• Water generously the day before sowing.
• It is vital that Basil is not exposed to the last spring frosts.
• If sowing outside sow in late March.
• Sow at any time if the plant is always to be kept indoors.
• If sowing inside and planting outside late then sow in late February.
• Sow the seeds thinly.
• Cover the seeds with 1/2 cm of compost and firm gently.
• Basil seeds should germinate in about a week.
• Once the seedlings have developed 2 pairs of true leaves then you can thin out.
• Basil should be grown in a position that receives a around 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.
• Position the Basil in a sheltered spot that avoids cold winds.
• Basil likes fertile soil.
• The soil should well dug to allow good soil air circulation.
• Well rotted organic compost or manure into the soil a month or so before sowing will help in growth.
• General purpose compost is a suitable soil solution.
• Water every week.
• Basil can help to discourage the fruit fly.
• Basil is often a target of slugs.

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