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Herbs - CulinaryAnnual Biennial

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

Synonyms
Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens 'Dark Opal'
Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple
Summer Red Purple
Autumn Purple
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1C
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

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow as an annual, indoors, in moist but well drained soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Can move outdoors in summer. Best grown in a container. See basil cultivation for more information

Propagation

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
Pruning

Pinch out flower heads as they appear to encourage continued leaf growth. If left to flower, cut back after flowering

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids and leafhoppers

Diseases

May be susceptible to Powdery mildews

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