Basil is one of the most popular herbs in the kitchen and is also often grown in the home garden. In nature there are many different types of basil. Find out what makes them special here.
Basil thrives in large parts of Central and South America, in Africa and in Asia. Since the plants do not tolerate frost, they are generally one year old in our gardens. The leaves can have a different color and the stature heights vary greatly depending on the variety.
There are a total of around 60 game species of basil, but the selection in European gardens is usually very small. Most of the varieties that we use in Germany come from the Mediterranean, usually they are the species and crosses of the Genovese basil. The variety of the basil is hardly manageable, so only a small excerpt below.
❀ Basil - the classics
The basil classics include the Genovese basil, the sweet basil and the curled green basil. The best known and most common of these is the ocimum basilicum “genovese”, which comes from the Mediterranean countries. It reaches a height of up to 60 cm and has dark green, shiny smoothers with a pointed oval shape. Sweet basil is closely related to this variety, but has smaller leaves. The green curled basil is particularly widespread in England.
❀ Different types from Thailand
Thai basil is also very popular. This is the generic term for different varieties that only occur in Thailand's nature. These include, for example:
- the wild thai basil
- the dark thai basil as well
- the mild Thai basil
All have a fairly warm aroma and taste slightly of cinnamon and anise with a hint of allspice and clove. If you use basil for an Asian dish, it is usually the mild Thai basil (bai horapa).
Rot The red-leaved varieties
Most people know basil with green leaves, but there are also varieties with red leaves from Japan. This variant includes:
- the red ruffle basil
- the red leaved basil as well
- the wild purple basil
The red differs in its nuances, it ranges from light pink to dark purple, the leaves can be smooth or frizzy. The red-leaved varieties are rich in vitamin C and contain the anthocyanin. This is also responsible for the red color.
❀ Different types from Africa
Just as there are varieties typical for Asia, the African continent also has special varieties of basil. African diversity includes:
- the leafy African basil
- the reddish-bluish African basil and
- the African tree basil
These herbs are perennial plants if they can be sheltered in winter.
❀ Aromatic varieties
We all know the typical taste of basil, but there are also numerous types that surprise with a very special aroma. These aromatic varieties include, for example:
- the licorice basil
- the anise basil
- the lemon basil
- the cinnamon basil and
- the clove basil
So you can not only enjoy the classic peppery taste, but also very exotic flavors. These varieties are distributed all over the world and have different growths.
❀ Basil varieties from all over the world
If the climate is ideal for the herb, then there are many regional types of basil worldwide. All belong to the genus of the ocimum basilicum. However, they differ in their aroma, the color of the leaves and their growth. Examples of basil from different regions of the world are: