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Scientific Name: Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum 'Dark Opal'

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Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum 'Dark Opal'


  • Perennial
  • African Blue Basil was first discovered in the early 1980s as a natural hybrid between the East African Camphor basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum) and a garden basil variety known as Sweet basil Dark Opal (Basilicum Dark Opal).
  • It has a strong camphor scent, inherited from (camphor basil) - the concentration of camphor is 22% (compared with 61% for O. kilimandscharicum). African Blue basil is primarily grown as an ornamental, highly favoured for its evergreen, green and purple leaves, bushy, fast-growing nature, and aromatic, bright purple flowers.
  • It is a rare, aromatic perennial herb that can grow up to one meter in height, and because it is a hybrid the plants are sterile, unable to produce seeds of their own.
  • This sterility prolongs the blooms on the plant and allows pollinators a stable location to retrieve pollen for an extended season.
  • In cooler climates, it can be grown as an annual.

Culinary Uses

  • The leaves carry a strong flavour and should be used in moderation not to overpower a dish.
  • African Blue basil pairs well with parsley, cardamom, beverages such as black tea, ginger ale, and champagne, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, lentils, rice, and feta cheese.
  • The flowers can also be incorporated into cocktails, floated on sparkling beverages, or stirred into teas.

Parts Used

  • The flowers, leaves and stems are edible and should be used immediately for the best quality and flavour.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • African Blue basil leaves provide vitamins A and C, antioxidants that boost the immune system, manganese to assist with protein digestion, and vitamin K to promote faster wound healing.
  • The greens are also a source of magnesium, calcium, and iron.
  • In addition to vitamins and minerals, African Blue basil contains many essential oils and compounds, including limonene, eugenol, citronellol, camphor, and camphene, which contribute antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

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