African Blue Basil (Ocimum 'African Blue') in the Basils Database

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
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Lavender
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Culinary Herb
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Culinary Herb/Spice
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
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

Beautiful African Blue Blooms

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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 (Maryland - Zone 7a) 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 (San Diego California - 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
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 Feb 18, 2019 10:58 PM 26,771

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