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Cardinal Basil


Ocimum bascilicum ‘Cardinal’ (Non-native)

Cardinal basil is a delicious, fragrant culinary basil that produces enormous, rich purple flower heads! These are fantastic in flower arrangements. Try the spicy-sweet leaves in your favorite recipes, as they are perfect for salads, soups, and curries, and leaves go well in many Mexican and Asian foods, adding anise or licorice-like flavor—a magnificent and grand variety for your garden and kitchen.

Cardinal basil was developed in Israel by the Genesis Seed Company and was designated an Agricultural Research Organization, or ARO, Selected Cultivar. It thrives in heat and is said to improve the vitality and flavor of tomatoes when planted side-by-side. It is also a good plant companion for asparagus, oregano, and peppers. As the flavor is best before the plant blooms, flowering can become delayed by pinching off new flower buds to prolong the harvest of the leaves. Cardinal Basil is an annual herb, unlike Rosemary.


Height: 2’-2.5’
Spread: 1.5’-2’
Bloom: June-November 
Light: Full Sun
Water: Medium
Zone: Annual 
Origin: Israel

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