Varieties of Basil herbs available 

Basil has been around for so long that there are many varieties of basil available today, including cinnamon, anise and numerous Thai basils.

Some of these different varieties of basil have similar properties to the commonplace 'Sweet Basil', but other varieties of basil are just grown for ornamental purposes.

Different varieties of basil herbs

  • Bush basil - ocimum basilicum var. minimum ... This variety of basil has small leaves and is more tolerant of different growing conditions. It can also be grown in a pot. Its also an annual but only grows to about 15cm in height. This variety of basil can be used for culinary purposes.

  • Camphor Basil - ocimum basilicum var. kilimandscharicum ... This variety of basil was named for Mount Kilimanjaro and can be used medicinally as a tea for colds and stomach ache. Its ideal for clipping making it versatile enough to be trimmed into a small hedge or topiary.

  • Zulu basil - ocimum basilicum var. urticifolum ... This variety of basil has lemon-scented leaves.

  • Purple Basil - ocimum basilicum purpureum ... This variety of basil has dark purple leaves and pale pink flowers and is mainly used as an ornamental plant.

  • Purple Ruffles Basil - ocimum basilicum 'Purple Ruffles' ... This is a very attractive and unusual ornamental variety of basil with ruffled edges to the maroon leaves.

  • Green Ruffles Basil - ocimum basilicum 'Green Ruffles' ... Another ornamental variety of basil similar to 'Purple Ruffles'. Again leaves are ruffled and this variety has lime green leaves.

  • Lemon Basil - ocimum basilicum var. citriodorum ... This is another lemon-scented variety of basil and is generally smaller and a more compact plant.

  • Sacred Basil - ocimum basilicum 'Sanctum' ... Hindu's regard this variety of basil as sacred and as such it is used in worship. The leaves are gray-green and coarse and it has lavender flowers.

  • Perennial Basil - ocimum basilicum var. gratissimum ... The leaves of this basil variety can grow up to 15cm in length. This variety is classed as a shrub and can grow up to 2m in height.

  • Lettuce Leaf Basil - ocimum basilicum var. crispum ... A large-leafed variety of basil that is ideal for salads and has crinkly leaves and white flowers.

  • Thail Basil - ocimum basilicum 'Thai'.. This variety of basil has a slight liquorice flavour and aroma and is used in many oriental dishes.