African Blue Basil
The African Blue Basil is a perennial and is one of the most cold telerant breeds of basil. It is a hybrid of two other breeds of basil and is propagated by cuttings.
It is a decorative plant, which, if allowed to bloom, is covered with long flower stems of purple buds that open to lavender flowers. The 1- to 2 1/2-inch long leaves are a slightly grayed green with purple speckles on their undersides. The plant grows 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall when pinched to harvest, but would grow taller unpinched, and is much bushier than regular basil varieties.Its texture is also a surprise to most people who are used to sweet basil. While most basils have a very smooth leaf, African blue basil is fuzzy and almost rough, something you can also taste when it is added to a dish.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
The flowers, leaves and young stems are edible. Some sources report that the flavor is too camphory, but everyone who has tried mine so far thinks it has a rich, mellow flavor. Finely chopped basil is a classic ingredient of pesto sauce and is delicious seasoning for soups, salads and dishes containing tomato, summer or winter squash, green beans, chicken, fish or red meats.