We — and when I say we I mean me — grew the standard Genovese basil this year, but also decided to throw a pot of African Blue Basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum x basilicum ‘Dark Opal’) into the garden crypt.
And that’s why we call it African Blue. Who can say Ocimum kilimandscharicum x basilicum ‘Dark Opal’?
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
It looked like this at the beginning of June.
In the beginning was the African blue basil.
In case you don’t recognize African blue basil, it’s front and right. All the way to the post.
At the end of June.
And it was good.
Along came September.
What happened to July and August? A total blur. Total.
This might be a close shot. I’m not saying it is. And I’m not saying it isn’t.
Get outta town!
African blue basil is a perennial basil. One of the few. Being a hybrid of two other breeds, it is also a non-breeder. No seeds. Sterile. Get it?
You propagate it through leaf cuttings.
It’s a grower.
It’s a siren call to bees. I know this to be true.
It does have that come hither look about it.
I’m going to try it in the frontscape next year. I’m not sure it will tolerate the full sun there, but it would make a great addition of color, not to mention all the bee action.
You can stare at it, and you can eat it.
I’m staring at it.
You know what to do. Meet you in the bar in 3…2…1…
6 thoughts on “Fridaaaaay!… aka Some Ado About African Blue”
yum, yum. It is a beaut. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a perennial basil. I grew the same oregano as you but I did purple basil. Every Saturday I’d pick some for the Yard Ape for pizza night. Delicious! I never let it flower. I pinched out all the flowers so it would grow bushier but from your pictures, I didn’t even need to do that. great pictures BTW.
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I pinch the flowers off my classic basil, too. Because they are seed bearing flowers. My understanding is the reason you don’t bother pinching the flowers off of the African Blue is because they are not seed-bearing flowers. So you can let those flowers bloom and be beautiful and your plant will still be nice and bushy. Apparently, they are edible as well as the leaves. I learn something new every day. 😀 Pizza!
Wonder if this would grow on PEI. Have you made pesto with it and if so is it a good thing?
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Hey Bunty – My understanding is that it grows equally well in sun and partial shade conditions, which is why I’m putting some in the frontscape next year, which gets the most intense sun of the day. I want to see how it will do. Also does well with drought type conditions – little watering. I have not made pesto with it, but when I Googled African Blue Basil, I could see that others had. It’s a tougher leaf and stronger flavor, but it is being used in the culinary arts. Also, the flowers are edible. I planted it for the color. It grows larger than my classic basil and attracts bees and other pollinators. If you try it next year, let me know how well it does on PEI.
Where did you get it? Richter’s doesn’t carry it, if it ever did; anything similar is marked “discontinued.”
Hm. It was mostly like Sheridan Nurseries. Do you have them on PEI? It was in with the other pots of basil at the beginning of the season. It may be too late in the year to get it now. Hm. Richters online catalog was showing it.
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