Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal'
A striking, upright, bushy annual producing stunning, dark purple, almost black, aromatic foliage that has a strong liquorice flavour. Attractive spikes of small, tubular, cerise red flowers appear in summer. Highly ornamental for warmer gardens in the UK, otherwise grow indoors under glass
SynonymsOcimum basilicum var. purpurascens 'Dark Opal'
Ultimate height0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height1–2 years
Ultimate spread0.1–0.5 metres
pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
- Full sun
South–facing or West–facing
- Native to the UK
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
How to grow
Propagate by seed in gentle heat in spring under glass or indoors
Suggested planting locations and garden types
- Mediterranean climate plants
- Patio and container plants
- Conservatory and greenhouse
Pinch out flower heads as they appear to encourage continued leaf growth. If left to flower, cut back after flowering
May be susceptible to aphids and leafhoppers
May be susceptible to Powdery mildews
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