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Herbaceous Perennial

Ocimum 'African Blue'

African blue basil

'African Blue' is a short-lived perennial to about 75cm, with dark green leaves, flushed purple when young, with a strong, camphor scent. Spires of purple-pink flowers on purple stems are produced in summer

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green
Summer Pink Purple Purple Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Lamiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Ocimum can be aromatic annuals, evergreen perennials or shrubs with opposite, linear to broadly-ovate leaves and small tubular white or pinkish flowers in whorls forming a spike

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in light, well-drained, fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun. May be grown as a short-lived sub-shrub in mild areas or over-wintered under glass

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings; does not set seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Patio and container plants
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut back after flowering

Pests

Can get leafhoppers and aphids; slugs and snails may be problematic

Diseases

May be affected by powdery mildews

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