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Black Basil

Posted by basilbum none (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 22:19

Hello all,

I just wondered if there are any basil experts here who might be able to tell me what the heck these black areas are on the basil my mom bought. Apparently they came in large bags for a fantastic price, don't appear to be withered and smell fantastic. But the discoloration has me worried it might be a fungus. It can be scratched off with fingernails, but given the quantity we need, not worth it...

Here's a pic:


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Black Basil

Basil leaves tend to turn black when refrigerated... maybe that's all?


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RE: Black Basil

They were black right out of the bag. Look like spores to me. Maybe bacterial leaf spot (Pseudomonas cichorii)? Don't get how they can sell it like that...

This post was edited by basilbum on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 13:44


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RE: Black Basil

Could be. I don't see the distorted leaves that in bacterial infections usually go along with the blackened areas and holes, but I wouldn't rule it out just on that basis.

Since the bacteria is harmless to humans, there's no law against selling basil with that disease. No one is forcing you to buy it.


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RE: Black Basil

I don't know what it might be, and rarely buy basil for those reasons. If you choose to eat it, I would blanch it off in boiling water first. (It's a trick for keeping basil green in pesto). Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then stick the basil in for about 30 seconds. Pull out and immediately plunge into a large bowl of ice water.


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RE: Black Basil

Thanks guys. Apparently all the bags had black leaves so maybe it wasn't anything harmful, but given the quantity we needed and the fact that there were a lot of yellow leaves too, we decided to wait or find another source.


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RE: Black Basil

Were the bags completely sealed or did they have holes in them?


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RE: Black Basil

I didn't see any holes in the bag. Looked quite sealed.


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RE: Black Basil

Well, the plant must have been in transit for a while and maybe in a refrigerated truck !!. Plus, being in a plastic bag there could be condensation.

So once you pinch off those and all damaged leaves, let it air and introduce it to sun/outdoors .... it should be fine.

AVOID OVER WATERING ! and of course, repot into a bigger pot.


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