Basil, Dark Purple Opal

497 in stock

    • 45 $
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$3.75

Quick Overview

Basil, Dark Purple Opal – Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens

FULL SUN Native to India, Africa and Asia, basil has been cultivated by mankind since prehistoric times. It was brought to the US by the early colonists and was an important flavoring agent in American cuisine. Dark Purple Opal Basil is an 18-24 in. bushy plant with deep maroon leaves. The leaves have a mild, spicy basil flavor. Plant in late spring after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to a depth of 6 in. Rows should be 12 in. apart. When seedlings are 2 in. high, thin, leaving 6-8 in. between plants. Harvest throughout the season by cutting the tops off the plants, aggressively. Do not let the plants flower. If blossoms occur, they are edible.

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Maturity
Annual 6-8 in. 1/2 in. 7-10 40

Basil, Dark Opal

One of the world’s most beloved herbs, grown on every continent but Antarctica (where it is grown in greenhouses), Basil is an annual herb. The plant has been grown for thousands of years for both its culinary and medicinal benefits. During the Middle Ages, Basil was believed to induce madness if the powder made from its dried leaves was snorted through the nose. Today there is no scientific evidence to support that snorting basil causes madness. Basil has largely enjoyed a relationship of love and respect with mankind. During the Victorian Era, a gentleman presenting basil to a lady meant that he wished for the lady to fall in love with him and never leave him. If a lady placed a pot of basil on her balcony, it meant that she was ready to receive suitors. However, maybe the best anecdotal historic legend comes from the Greeks and Romans. Physicians from these two cultures believed that to grow a good crop of basil, one needed to shout and curse when sowing the seeds. From this tradition came the French axiom, “semer le basilica” – “sowing the basil” an idiomatic expression for ‘raving’.

Basil is a gentle, if not pleasant, aid for digestion. A tea made from basil leaves enjoyed after dinner is known to ease the digestive process. It can be used for stomach cramps, vomiting and constipation. It is also believed to have a mild sedative ability and so is often prescribed for stress headaches and anxiety.
Basil is best when consumed fresh, but it can also be stored. The best way to store basil is to make a paste out of pureed leaves and olive oil, to freeze the paste in ice cube trays and then to store the “basil ice cubes” in sealed plastic freezer bags. Stored in this way, the basil can last up to a year.

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