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Ocimum_minimum - Lour.

Common Name Bush Basil
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Long cultivated, its original habitat is obscure[132].
Range Tropical Asia?
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Ocimum_minimum Bush Basil


Ocimum_minimum Bush Basil

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ocimum_minimum is a ANNUAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender. It is in flower from August to September, and the seeds ripen in September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaves and flowers - raw or cooked[4, 21, 27]. Used as a flavouring or as a spinach[14, 61], they are used especially with tomato dishes, pasta sauces, beans, peppers and aubergines[238]. The leaves are normally used fresh but can also be dried for winter use[21]. A very pleasant addition to salads[K], the leaves have a delightful scent of cloves[4]. A refreshing tea is made from the leaves[21]. The seed can be eaten on its own or added to bread dough as a flavouring[183]. When soaked in water it becomes mucilaginous and can be made into a refreshing beverage called 'sherbet tokhum' in the Mediterranean[183]. An essential oil obtained from the plant is used as a food flavouring in mustards, sauces, vinegars etc[57, 105, 183]

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Bush basil has a milder action than sweet basil and is used mainly in the treatment of flatulence and griping pain in the digestive system[254]. The leaves and flowering tops are antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, galactogogue, stomachic and tonic[7, 14, 21, 178, 218]. They are taken internally in the treatment of feverish illnesses (especially colds and influenza), poor digestion, nausea, abdominal cramps, gastro-enteritis, migraine, insomnia, depression and exhaustion[238]. Externally, they are used to treat acne, loss of smell, insect stings, snake bites and skin infections[238]. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried[238]. The seed is said to remove film and opacity from the eyes[218]. Extracts from the plant are bactericidal and are also effective against internal parasites[218, 238]. The seeds are said to be a cure for warts[4]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Clearing'[210].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

An essential oil obtained from the whole plant is used as a food flavouring and in perfumery, dental applications etc[46, 57, 61, 105, 171, 238]. An average yield of 1.5% essential oil is obtained from the flowering tops[7]. When applied to the skin it makes a good mosquito repellent[7]. The growing or dried plant is an effective insect repellent. It is a good plant to grow in the home, where it repels flies, or in the greenhouse where it can keep all manner of insect pests away from nearby plants[14, 20, K]. It has been used in the past as a strewing herb[201].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a rich light well-drained to dry soil[1, 27, 238]. Requires a sunny sheltered position if grown outdoors[52]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5 - 8[238]. Bush basil is commonly grown for its edible leaves in warm temperate and tropical climates. A perennial plant in the tropics, it is frost tender and is grown as a half-hardy annual in temperate zones[142]. It is a very good plant to grow in the house or greenhouse, its aromatic foliage helps reduce problems caused by insect pests[K]. It requires a good summer in Britain if it is to do well outdoors. This species is considered by some botanists to be no more than a form of O. basilicum[132]. Bush basil is a good companion plant for tomatoes but it grows badly with rue and sage[14, 18, 20, 201]. When grown near raspberries it can retard their fruiting[201].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow mid to late spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually free and quick, prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing basil outdoors, plant out after the last expected frosts.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Ocimum minimumBush BasilAnnual0.3 9-11  LMNM432

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

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Botanical References

Links / References

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Readers comment

sanjay   Sat Nov 19 2005

Link Exchange Requested.

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