AZ Arboretums

Ocimum basilicum "Tia"

Sweet basilCommon: Tia basil, Sweet basil
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Origin: Once native to India and Persia only, but now grown commercially all over Mediterranean region and in California.
Sunset Zone: All Zones
Light: Full sun
Soil: Likes rich, weed-free and well aerated soil
Water: Regular water for succulent growth

Annual with square stems, bushy in shape, grow to about 18 inches in height. Large variations in growth and yield may occur due to climate conditions, plant type and cultural practices. Broad shiny green leaves 1 - 2 inches in length. Aromatic Apposite, toothed-edged.

Flowers are white to purple, depending on variety. Flower production starts when plant has reached approximately half its height. Flowers produce dark brown seeds that self sow readily.

Known as the "royal herb" to the ancient Greeks, the botanical name is derived from the Greek "to be fragrant." In India, Hindus believed that if a leaf of basil were buried with them, it would serve as their passport to heaven. Used as seasoning for pizza, spaghetti sauce, sausage, soup and salads. Keep flower spikes pinched out to prevent seeding and subsequent death of plant. Propagation is by seed.