African Blue Basil

charlie29485(8)May 18, 2010

Newbie here. I purchased an African Blue Basil last week with long purple flowers. However, I noticed that since it was a woody plant I thought it would be okay and would continue to grow. Am I wrong? Should I go ahead and cut off the flowers now? Is there anything else I should be aware of? Appreciate the help. (BTW they told me it was a purple basil, so it shows you how much I know!)

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scurbanfarmer(7b-8a)

I could be completely off base here...but, If I bought a basil plant now that had flowers on it..I'd for sure cut them off.
It's too early in the season for them to be flowering would be my train of thought on that.
I cut the flowers off most things right now though...except of course my flower plants. lol

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 7:01PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

The following information is courtesy of the Herb Society of America:

African Blue

Ocimum ÂDark Opal x O. kilmandscharicum ÂAfrican BlueÂ

ÂAfrican Blue is a large bushy plant growing to 4'. Not usually considered a culinary basil, but useful in flower arrangements and as a landscape plant. Flavor is sweet, but to some this basil has strong balsam tones with a hint of turpentine.

I don't know where you live, but down here in south Texas I treated my African Blue as a perennial. It lived for about 5 years before I pulled it up because it had gotten so woody and "wild" looking. It is a hybrid, i.e. the seeds are sterile. I let it bolt out all the time; never cut off any of the flowers. But then it might have lived a long time because I'm in zone 9a (actually living on the water more like zone 9b). Anyway, I would just let it go and see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 12:48PM
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charlie29485(8)

Thank you so much for your responses. I went to a nursery and saw that they had a huge african basil growing in a large pot. The tag says it can be used as a culinary herb, but searching through the web I found the article mentioned above. I am so confused. I'm in South Carolina, Zone 8. I'm going to give this type of basil a shot and make some pesto. I'll let you know what happens!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 5:08AM
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