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There are a great many varieties of basil. In the State Register alone, about a hundred varieties are described, and many times more are grown: both at home and on an industrial scale. Due to its aroma and taste, this culture is loved by gourmets all over the world.
In the article you will find a description of the best varieties of this fragrant plant, including Caramel, Sacred and other varieties of all colors and shades - from green to black, and you can see their photos, as well as find out which ones can be grown as ornamental.
How many varieties are there and how are they divided?
To date, more than 150 types of basil are known... They can differ in the height of the stem (tall, medium-sized, undersized), and aroma. As for what color they are, there are two main types of plant coloration - purple basil and green basil, but rarely which variety has one saturated color. More often there are many shades up to silver and even black.
Reference! The culture belongs to the mint family, so certain varieties are used not only for cooking, but also in medicine.
Perennial and annual
Perennials include "Sacred Basil", "Dreams of the Sultan", "Fantasy". For annuals: "Basil broadleaf", "Anise", "Italian".
Broadleaf (Ocimum basilicum)
An annual with a persistent, strong black pepper aroma... It got its name from the wide and large leaves of bright green color. In terms of the amount of vitamins and essential oils, it surpasses all existing types. Gardeners recommend planting this variety in seedlings, since the bushes give a good harvest (up to 300 g from one copy).
Eugenol (Ocimum gratissimum L.)
It is actively grown in the regions of Kuban and Georgia. It has a straight, woody, dark brown stem that extends up to 90 cm in height. Leaves - opposite, large, dark green, jagged at the edges. The lower part of the leaf blade is strongly pubescent. Blooms from August to September, medium-sized, white buds. The described variety requires a lot of light, fertilizer and moisture.
The plant reaches a height of 25-30 cm. The leaves are dark green, up to 8 centimeters in length, with a smooth surface. The best planting method is seedling. Sowing should be carried out 70-80 days before planting the crop in the ground. Grows well outdoors in southern regions, but can be grown indoors. It has a delicate menthol aroma and exquisite taste.
This particular variety is best suited for making the classic Italian pesto seasoning. It is an annual plant with small milky flowers and large green leaves, oval and pointed at the ends. The sheet plate is glossy and convex. Easily and quickly grows in a pot indoors.
Spherical Perfume (Ocimum basilicum Parfum)
Instances of this variety are highly branching, which is why they do not reach a great height (maximum - 35 cm). The spherical bush is covered with many small leaves of a pale light green color. The smell is intense, perfumery-spicy, slightly sugary. They are used both in cooking and in ornamental gardening. It grows well both in the greenhouse and in the open field, but it is afraid of frost. Requires regular moisture and adequate lighting.
Early maturing, relatively new variety, giving a large yield (300-400 g per specimen). Has a pronounced cinnamon aroma. Branched bush, spreading, covered with small leaves. The trunk grows up to 40 cm in height. A month passes before the beginning of the economic validity. The green mass must be removed before flowering.
Often grown indoors... Representatives of this culture grow up to 20-25 cm in height, compact, shoots are pressed to the stem. They have small, elliptical leaflets, with jagged edges. Length - 2-3 cm.
The aroma is sweet and soft, with hints of pepper and cloves.
The variety is mid-season, gives a bountiful harvest 2 months after germination, unpretentious, cold-resistant.
Purple, red or blue tint
One of the most favorite varieties of culinary experts. The aroma combines the aromas of tea and allspice. A bushy, spreading variety, the leaves are bright purple with red tints, the flowers are pale pink. The leaf plates are large, oval, with jagged edges, growing opposite each other. It is grown both in open ground (southern Russia) and in greenhouses. In one season, the gardener can cut the shoots 2-3 times. To obtain high-quality greens, sowing is carried out again, with an interval of 3 weeks, until mid-July. In addition to culinary purposes, it is used for decorating flower beds.
An annual crop with a spicy taste and strong aroma. The plant is highly branched, spreading, medium-sized (up to 40 centimeters). The flowers are large, light pink in color. The stems are purple, like the buds. The leaves are small, serrated, with a silvery sheen. It grows quickly both in a pot on a windowsill and in a garden. It is best to plant in March-April.
Mid-season variety, reaching a height of 40-60 cm... The leaves of the Ararat variety are large, dark purple, shiny, toothed. The flowers are pink with a lilac center.
This variety is distinguished by its bright, pleasant taste and memorable appearance. Reaches a height of 40-60 cm. Leaves - rich purple hue, oval, with jagged edges, grow crowded and abundantly. The best way to grow is seedling, in late March or early April, when the threat of frost has passed. The smell is intense, tart.
Common (Ocimum basilicum)
An odorous, annual plant with a branched stem. Leaves are ovate, sparsely toothed, petiolate, opposite. The buds can be white, pink, or red, clustered in clusters at the ends of branches and stems. Roots - very thin, branched, superficial. When ripe, the fruit contains 4 elongated, smooth, dark brown nuts. The smell is balsamic, reminiscent of the aroma of allspice or cloves, with spicy, salty-bitter notes. Collection time is from June to September.
Sacred (Ocimum sanctum, Ocimum tenuiflorum)
What is this plant and where is Holy Basil distributed? This perennial grows in India, Indonesia, Polynesia and Arabia. The leaf plates are covered with numerous short hairs, ovate, short-petiolate, dentate at the edges. In length, they reach 4-5 cm. The cups and stem are covered with fluff, the flowers are milky white with a purple tint. It does not have a pronounced aroma, it tastes like a clove. With regular watering and plenty of light, it grows quickly.
The described variety is one of the most popular in cooking and is called the "king" of spices. Unlike others, it does not have green and spotted lesions. Reaches a height of 25-30 cm. Inflorescences are red with black blotches. Leaves - glossy, shiny, deep purple, sometimes black, with serrated edges. In length - 4-5 cm, in width - 1.5-2 cm. The only planting option is seedling.
The aroma of this variety resembles a mixture of tart cloves with a delicate hint of mint. The leaves are deep purple, in places black with a barely noticeable light border along the jagged edges. The plates are wide and elongated, dense, strongly curved. The veins are clearly traced. The flowers are small, pale pink. The variety is compact, fast-growing, but demanding to care for.
Baku basil leaves have a concentrated aroma, so it should be used very carefully, otherwise the food will acquire a very specific taste.
With the strongest scent
Important! Anise basil has a very fragrant and strong anise aroma.
It differs from other species in bright purple buds and stems. Leaves - large, toothed, opposite growing, on long and thick petioles. The buds are also large, pink, sometimes with red markings. With good care, it quickly builds up green mass.
A spicy-flavored annual plant with a strong clove aroma. Compact (40-60 cm in height), densely leafy bush. Flowers are white, small, gathered in bunches. The leaves are serrated, long, ovoid, bright green in color. An early ripe variety - no more than 30-40 days pass from the emergence of shoots until the first cut of greenery. Ideal for growing on windowsills and balconies.
Two of the brightest representatives of the clove basil can be singled out in particular: Robin Hood and Red Rubin.
Robin Hood grows up to 50 cm in height, has large, toothed purple leaves and a warm clove scent. It belongs to the group of mid-ripening varieties, before the start of economic validity, it takes a month and a half from the emergence of seedlings.
Red Rubin also belongs to a mid-early variety and grows over 30 cm in height, but has a more intense color and intense aroma. The stem of the plant is dark purple, the leaves are purple-red, convex, oblong-ovate. Produces a bountiful harvest. Suitable for growing both outdoors and in a pot.
In the photo is the basil Robin Hood:
Pepper varieties have a pronounced peppery aroma of varying intensity. These are "Aramis", "Magic of the East", "Rosy". Their leaves are particularly soft and rich in color palette - from light green to black and purple. The seedlings are ready for the first cut in 50-60 days after germination. Flavoring qualities also range from salty and tart to spicy-pungent.
In the photo, the Basilic Magic of the East:
Pepper Cinnamon (Basilisk)
The maximum height that Basilisk Basil can grow to is 20 cmhowever, this does not diminish its popularity as an ornamental variety grown universally. Differs in a lush "head" of leaves, small and smooth, among which numerous white flowers bloom. Like other pepper varieties, it is ready for cutting 2 months after the first shoots appear.
Lemon (Ocimum citriodorum)
This early maturing variety has a delicate and refreshing scent. However, he is also a real storehouse of vitamins and nutrients. The bushes of the lemon plant are compact, straight stems are strewn with small ovoid leaves, light green, with jagged edges and short petioles. The flowers are medium-sized, light purple, spike-shaped.
This variety is unpretentious and can be grown both at home and in the open field, however, when planting on your own site, remember the following:
- Basil is susceptible to frost, so seedlings can be planted no earlier than June.
- The plot should be sunny and warm.
- The planting site should be changed every 2-3 years, otherwise the plants may get sick.
- The buds must be plucked before flowering, otherwise the leaves will become inedible.
- The collection takes place from late July to early September.
Two representatives of this variety, a lemon miracle and a Greek one, have gained popularity among gardeners. The first has no special distinguishing features, with the exception of the aroma - a pronounced scent of lemon, coupled with mint. But the Greek grows into a miniature bush (no more than 15 cm in height) with tiny leaves and a piquant bitter taste. The spherical shape of the plant is decorated with white and very fragrant buds.
The fastest growing specimen: you can cut it off within 30-40 days after germination. The leaves are wide and fleshy, the bush is spreading, giving off the aroma of fruit caramel.
One of the most unpretentious varieties. In a young plant, the leaves are green and even; when ripe, they bend and become lilac. Due to its spicy vanilla flavor, it is used as an additive in confectionery.
Individual specimens of this variety can stretch up to half a meter in height. The buds are colored in different shades of purple, have the shape of panicles, narrow oblong leaves with finely toothed edges have a cinnamon flavor. Very warm and light-loving variety, grown by seedlings.
The emerald leaves of this variety, elongated and very soft to the touch, give off a pleasant menthol aroma. The socket is down. The petioles are short, the flowers are white. From the moment the first shoots appear and until the first cut, 1.5-2 months should pass.
With the scent of lilac (Pearl of the Moscow Region)
The newest selection of Russia is an early ripening variety up to 1.2 m high and the smell of blooming lilacs. The stem is dark green, straight, slightly branched at the base, leaves with a scarlet tint, numerous inflorescences of purple and lilac shades. The root is fibrous, pivotal, up to 15 cm long. The seeds are small, smooth and oblong. Differs in resistance to diseases and pests.
What to choose for marinades?
Tempter (Ocimum basilicum "Tempter")
Semi-spreading plant up to 80 cm in height, with bubbly, light green and large leaves. The smell is pungent, marinade. Grown by seedlings in a greenhouse... Timely pinching is needed to get lush bushes.
Osmin (Ocimum basilicum "Osmin")
The most thermophilic and delicate variety cultivated as an annual. It has jagged glossy leaves, a thick trunk and a bright purple color. The aroma is spicy-peppery, strong. Best grown in pots on windowsills.
Which can be grown as decorative?
Varieties are grown as a decorative decoration.:
- Siam Queen.
- Dark Opal.
The best choice for outdoor cultivation
In the open field, the following varieties feel good:
- Lemon flavor.
They are unpretentious and show good yields even in the northern regions of the country.
Which ones are suitable for the middle band?
Good choices would be:
- "Clove aroma".
- "Basil eugenol".
- "The Sultan's Dreams".
- "The sorcerer".
This pretty plant with a unique taste and rich aroma is used not only in Greek, Russian, Italian and other cuisines of the world. Valuable qualities of basil are also used in medicine., grown for the joy of the eyes and heart in home pots and summer cottages, used as a disinfectant.