Basil varieties question

flower753(z6a OH)July 3, 2009

I have two packages of basil seeds - one is labeled Sweet Italian and the other Genovese. I grew both but now have no idea which is which (or if there is actually any difference). I do not detect any difference in taste (and I really only ask for curiosity's sake). Thanks!

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Regular Basil (and there are many!!) are usualy taller than the genovese type. Genovese usually are at about foot tall at maturity and tend to bush out with smaller leaves, compared to regular basil which can grow up to 5 feet tall. Because yours are still very young, there is no way to know yet.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 3:06PM
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francescod(6b/7a VA)

Italian Sweet and Genovese are names that are often used interchangeably. Technically basil can't be called Genovese unless it is grown in that area of Italy-like bubbly wine can't be called champaign unless it comes from that area of France. Trouble is, very little seed comes from Genoa anymore. So now they are supposed to call it Italian or Italian Sweet or anything other than Genovese.
I grew an Italian Sweet, two types of Genovese, and Genoa Green this year. Italian Sweet and one of the Genovese types were the same, the other Genovese type had more deeply "cupped" leaves that the first, and Genoa Green has a more "clovey" aroma than the others. I have also seen another type, simply called sweet basil, that is similar, but the leaves are lighter green and narrower than the others.

There are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the many "sweet" basil types. Some are different in taste, or aroma, or growth habit, or leaf shape, or leaf size, or leaf color.

The two types pictured look slightly different to me but that could be the lighting. The veins on the bottom plant look a bit thicker and the leaves slightly less puckered and a little flatter.

F. DeBaggio

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 6:28PM
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flower753(z6a OH)

Thanks for the replies and information! I have 4 plants and three are currently about 6 inches tall and the fourth is 12 inches. Two are "Genovese" & two are "Sweet Italian". (I also have 2 Spicy Globe and 1 Red Rubin).

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 7:30PM
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