The Q&A Archives: Columnar Basil

Question: On a TV show, Martha Stewart mentioned using 'columnar basil' as a quick growing hedge as a substitute for slow-growing boxwoods.

Answer: One of the problems with using local or common names of plants is trying to find out what they really are. Ocimum canum, also know as Hoary Basil, will grow to two feet tall with 3 inch long leaves. There's another basil, Ocimum gratissimum, that's shrubby in habit and grows to about six feet tall. These heights are attained in their native habitat (Asia), so I'm not sure these plants will perform as well for you. That's about as close as we can come to your description. Martha has a website you can visit - maybe she can tell you. Let us know what you find out! <br> or e-mail:

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