Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens
Also known as
Ocimum basilicum 'Red Rubin', Basil, Basilie, Basiliekruid (Afr.)
Starr 070906-8882 Ocimum basilicum var. purpureum by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)
This plant has a mild fragrance
Red Basil Overview
Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens is sometimes known as Ocimum basilicum 'Purpurascens', Ocimum basilicum 'Red Rubin', Red Basil or Purple-Leaved Basil, amongst other names. With its easy-to-grow, large edible reddish-purple leaves and its strong spicy flavour, Red Basil is a must-have for every windowsill and every herb garden. This plant has ornamental appeal due to the striking reddish-purple leaves which add a unique flavour to salads, herbal teas and other dishes. It typically grows to around 70cm in height. Not only is Ocimum basilicum 'Red Rubin' used for their culinary and ornamental appeal, but it also has medicinal properties.
Common problems with Red Basil
Red Basil Companion Plants
How to harvest Red Basil
Harvest the leaves regularly and remove flowers to concentrate the plant's energy on leaf production. Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds. Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored in an airtight container until the next season start.
How to propagate Red Basil
Sow seeds either directly in Spring or Summer or indoors 3 mm deep. Germination takes 5-10 days.
Take a 10 cm stem cutting from just below a leaf node from a stem that hasn't flowered. Remove the leaves 5 cm from the bottom end. Plant 5 cm deep. Keep moist or root the cutting in a glass of water!
Special features of Red Basil
Good container plant provided it has enough space to grow.
Prefers to be kept indoors & can be grown in a container indoors provided it receives at least 6 hours of sun/high intensity light.
Repels harmful insects
Used as a companion plant to deter whitefly.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts insects such as bees.
Red leaves add interest to dishes and gardens!
Other uses of Red Basil
Red basil adds a unique flavour to salads, herbal teas and other dishes.