PlantsBasils→African Blue Basil (Ocimum 'African Blue')

Common names:
Give a thumbs up African Blue Basil
Give a thumbs up Basil

Also sold as:
Ocimum kilimandscharicum X basilicum purpureum

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 10a -1.1 °C (30 °F) to +1.7 °C (35 °F)
Plant Height: 2-3 feet
Plant Spread: 2-3 feet
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Fragrant
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Lavender
Mauve
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Fall
Uses: Culinary Herb
Edible Parts: Leaves
Flowers
Eating Methods: Culinary Herb/Spice
Raw
Cooked
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Will not come true from seed
Other info: This cultivar is sterile and does not form seeds
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Parentage: Ocimum kilimandscharicum x Dark Opal

Photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials

Photo gallery:
Location: Test gardenDate: 2018-09-07
By piksihk
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Location: Coastal San Diego County Date: 2018-10-26A must have plant
By carlysuko
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Location: Coastal San Diego County Date: 2018-05-02
By carlysuko
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Location: My Property Sunset Zone 23 Fallbrook CaliforniaDate: 2013-04-09
By wcgypsy
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Location: Houston, TXDate: 2015-10-04Bees love it!
By csrain
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Location: Manitoba, CanadaDate: 2016-08-09
By DebbieC
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Location: Test gardenDate: 2018-09-07
By piksihk
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Location: My garden, Willow Valley Communities Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2020-06-11
By csandt
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Location: Magnolia, TexasDate: Feb 2021Partial root system of winter kill A B basil plant, stalk split i
By kittriana
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Location: Magnolia, TexasDate: March 9 20215" cuttings taken end of Oct 2020, pot size needed for cuttings t
By kittriana
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Location: My propertyDate: 2011-10-30
By wcgypsy
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Location: San Antonio, TXDate: May 20, 2012African Blue Basil
By LindaTX8
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Location: Chicago, ILDate: 2012-08-04 A wonderful basil cultivar that attracts an infinite variety of p
By Ispahan
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Location: My Property Sunset Zone 23 Fallbrook CaliforniaDate: 2013-04-09
By wcgypsy
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Location: Manitoba, CanadaDate: 2016-06-22
By DebbieC
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Location: My Property Sunset Zone 23 Fallbrook CaliforniaDate: 2013-04-09
By wcgypsy
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Location: My Property Sunset Zone 23 Fallbrook CaliforniaDate: 2013-04-09
By wcgypsy
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Location: My Property Sunset Zone 23 Fallbrook CaliforniaDate: 2013-04-09
By wcgypsy
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Location: Houston, TX
By csrain
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden (Mobot) in St LouisDate: 2016-06-18
By jmorth
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Date: 2019-08-28
By Idans
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Comments:
Posted by Ispahan (Chicago - Zone 6a) on Jul 4, 2012 5:32 PM

A very attractive and sterile ornamental basil that produces a profusion of lovely, purple tinged leaves and continuous large spires of blooms all season long. The flowers are beloved of pollinating insects of all kinds. It is such a joy to see so many native bees working this plant!

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Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 24, 2014 4:53 PM

'African Blue' is my favorite ornamental basil. I have grown it two seasons in a row now, and I intend to grow it next year as well. It grows in full sun to a good 3 feet high, bearing tall stalks of pink flowers against purple-veined leaves. 'African Blue' is a cross between Ocimum kilimandscharicum and Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal'. The pollinators love it. Its high camphor content (inherited from its East African parent, Ocimum kilimandscharicum, or camphor basil) makes it a less desirable culinary herb, but it is beautiful as an ornamental pollinator magnet.

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Posted by RebeccaFriedel on May 21, 2017 8:21 PM

This is my favorite basil. Its flavor is a bit more mellow than sweet basil. I find it blends well with sweet basil when I make pesto, it provides a bit more depth. It's also a beautiful plant.

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Posted by carlysuko (Oceanside, California. Sunset zone 24 - Zone 10a) on Oct 4, 2018 9:39 PM

This plant has performed exceptionally well for me. Which is no easy feat for any plant in my garden this year. I had mass casualties from squirrels, gophers, and spider mites. Yet my African Blue Basil looks perfect. It is a blooming machine and always looks healthy. The bees are very fond of it, which is great. I highly recommended this plant!

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Plant Events from our members
Catmint20906 On May 17, 2015 Bloomed
Catmint20906 On May 2, 2015 Obtained plant
carlysuko On April 30, 2018 Obtained plant
From La Costa Anderson's Nursery
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What to do with my Basil plants by JT2 Jan 26, 2021 1:38 PM 7
Is Magic Mountain Basil sterile? by Berkobien Aug 21, 2017 10:17 PM 5
Red Basil or Mint ? by jimard8 Feb 22, 2016 6:18 PM 24
midatlantic madness by JB Sep 29, 2014 9:46 AM 17
More bee friendly by Bonehead Oct 29, 2014 8:00 PM 22
Garden Chat and Photos by Catmint20906 Jan 2, 2016 11:47 AM 3,043
thyme for (more) bees and other bugs on flowers by dirtdorphins Mar 7, 2015 11:22 PM 760
Banner for February 20, 2014 by terrafirma by terrafirma Feb 20, 2014 1:27 PM 8
Banner for February 16, 2014 by terrafirma by terrafirma Feb 16, 2014 2:37 PM 10
Midwest Weather and everything else by kareoke Dec 7, 2021 7:30 AM 42,741

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