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3 4’ S 2 3’
'Dark Opal' x O. kilimandscharicum hybridized to form Ocimum
'African Blue,' an annual that Peter
Borchard, owner of Companion Plants in Ohio, found growing in a
seed bed adjoining his dark opal and camphor basil beds in 1982.
It seems to be a cross between these two basils. The whole plant
has a warm, sweet, camphor scent. It is a large, bushy, energetic
plant that will grow to 3' and as wide as it is tall in a season,
a stunning ornamental. New leaves are heavily brushed with purple,
which fades in time to a deep bright green with purple veining.
The undersides are a reddish purple. Stems are slightly hairy and
suffused with violet. It produces purple blushed flower spikes.
Its continuous growth and flower production creates an aura of unguarded
splendor in the garden. It makes an eye-catching display next to
my red orach.
and Use: African Blue is a favorite for flower arrangements
as the blooms last 3 to 4 weeks, if water is changed regularly.
Why not plant this one just for display and arrangements and save
the better tasting basils for culinary purposes?
As it is a hybrid, it cannot be grown from seed, but that
is no matter, as stem cuttings root
out readily when placed in water and grow easily.
see Genovese Basil.