Evergreen basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum), a perennial basil: plant, grow

regular basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum), also known as Kenya basil, camphor basil or Kilimanjaro basil, is a perennial basil and therefore differs from many popular basil varieties that dry at 0°C. Despite its African origin, Kenyan to be precise, the perennial basil is more resistant than the annual basil because it supports up to -5 ° C, and can be started from the root .

Its port is the forest and its great size, it will become a spice and beautiful plants. Its branches are straight, well-branched, mauve always bearing, opposite, oblong, toothed leaves with visible purple veins on a dark gray green leaf. The smell of the leaves gives off a camphor-like aroma.

This fast-growing plant produces, in the summer, small honey and nectariferous red, mauve or red flowers that are arranged in well-shaped clusters that attract bees, insects and others.

Perpetual basil is used in cooking just like other types of basil (Ocimum basilicum), but stands out for its camphor flavor and salty taste. Its medicinal use is common in Africa but also in India where Kenya basil is famous for having digestive, antispasmodic and sedative properties. A large oil of camphor is extracted from it. Finally, its strong scent makes it an effective mosquito repellent.

  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Type: perennial
  • Origin: Kenya
  • Color: Purple flowers are bright red
  • Sow: Yes
  • Cut: Yes
  • Plant: spring
  • Flowering: June to September
  • Height: up to 1m (0.60m wide)

Proper soil and information for perennial basil

Perennial basil is grown in full sun, sheltered from the wind to take advantage of a warm, moist, well-drained soil.

Date of sowing, cutting and planting perennial basil

Perennial basil can be sown, in good soil, at 20 ° C, from March-April. Then it is necessary to change the young plants in pots, before arranging them in May, when the last frosts pass.

Kenya basil takes the best cuttings in water by cutting the stems placed in a glass of water: they will quickly grow roots.

The council of the care and culture of the perennial basil

Basil is easy to care for. It should be watered in the summer when heat and dryness cause the leaves to wilt.

Mulch on the foot helps keep something fresh in the summer, and protects the base from the cold as winter approaches.

In countries with mild winters, the mulch is enough to protect it, even if the leaves are lost, start again in the spring. But in other places, it should be grown in a pot or a wall so that it can be brought protected from frost, in a greenhouse or on the veranda.

It is recommended to remove dried flowers.

Pruning should be done at the beginning of spring to give it a good shape and encourage it to produce new shoots.

Harvest, store and use perennial basil

Perennial basil can be harvested almost all year round, preferring the period from May to October. Leaves and flowers can be dry or withered.

They are used as an infusion or a condiment in the kitchen.

Diseases, pests and parasites of perennial basil

Kenya basil is not susceptible to disease or attack.

Place and good combination of regular basil

It is a plant that is grown in the spice garden or in the vegetable garden near the tomatoes to protect them from bugs. In a large container, this perennial basil does well.

Types and varieties of Ocimum are recommended for planting in the garden

Genre ocium There are about 35 species in total but it owes its popularity to the aromatic and annual condiment plant, aromatic basil (Ocimum basilicum) comes in a variety of plants with different shapes, colors and scents.

regular basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum) is one of the lesser known perennial basils, but it has already produced hybrids since it came with Ocimum basilicum : ‘African lap’sterile, with dark colors but more resistant to cold, ‘Black Opal’which is highly appreciated for its attractiveness and ‘Magic Mountain’the favorite because it holds all the boxes, decorations and sweets…

(Credit: Jengod at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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