Crimson King and Dark Purple Opal Basils

Crimson King and Dark Purple Opal Basils
For a touch of color in the landscape, try some of the colorful basils. Crimson and Dark Purple Opal basils are two examples.

Crimson King Basil

Crimson King basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a rich colorful Genovese type. Bred in England, it has been described as an improvement of Red Rubin basil.

The lush, vigorous, upright, branching, uniform plant is typically 1½ feet or so in height with a spread of a foot. In some cases, it has reached three feet in height.

The entire plant is a lovely dark burgundy. Unlike some purple basils, this plant retains the uniform color in the leaves and never produces any green ones. The foliage has the classic shape seen in Genovese.

Crimson King basil makes a gorgeous ornamental in the landscape. It grows well in containers.

The leaves can be harvested in about 80 days from planting time. These have a spicy, clove-like aroma.

Dark Purple Opal Basil

Dark Purple Opal basil (Ocimum purpurescens) is one of the purple basils. It is sometimes called Dark Opal. This was named an All America Selections winner in 1962. This must surely be considered a classic variety by now for it was one of the first purple basils to be introduced.

This basil has great ornamental value and is perfect for mass plantings. It reaches two feet in height.

The plant is named for the purple to bronze purple foliage. The lovely leaves are crinkled. Dark Purple Opal basil features lavender-whitish blossoms.

The leaves have an Italian basil flavor. Like all of the purple leaved basils, this is highly recommended for herb vinegars.

Harvest of the leaves will typically begin about 80 days from planting time.

Deep Purple Basil

Deep Purple basil (Ocimum purpurescens) is a uniform plant that reaches one to 1½ feet in height. Due to its attractive nature, this is highly suitable for the landscape. It is a great choice for containers.

This basil is named for the shiny, bright purple color seen in all of its plant parts from the leaves and stems to the purple blossoms. The flowers are well liked by bees.

The glossy foliage is very deep purple that lasts throughout the season.

Harvest of the leaves usually begins about 75 days from planting time.

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This content was written by Connie Krochmal. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Connie Krochmal for details.