A picture of a Clove Basil

Clove Basil

Ocimum gratissimum

Also known as

African Basil, East Indian Basil, Fever Plant, Shrubby Basil, Mosquito Plant, Tree Basil

Ocimum gratissimum Afrikan Basil ევგენოლის რეჰანი by Lazaregagnidze (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

13b

USDA zone

18°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.2m

Max

1m

50cm

Min

50cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

More images of Clove Basil

A close up of some white flowers on a Ocimum gratissimum plant
A Ocimum gratissimum plant in a garden

Clove Basil Overview

Ocimum gratissimum is a larger than average basil variety, hence the nickname, Tree Basil. It is also known by the name African basil. This plant is very aromatic, the oils in the leaves give off an intense clove aroma with the occasional notes of Thyme. Mature plants develop edible, white flowers that have a slightly feathery appearance and are bitter compared to the sweet and spicy leaves.

Common problems with Clove Basil

Generally problem free.

    Clove Basil Companion Plants

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    Tomato

    Solanum lycopersicum

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    Bell Pepper 'California Wonder'

    Capsicum annuum 'California Wonder'

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    Rue

    Ruta graveolens

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    Aniseed

    Pimpinella anisum

    How to harvest Clove Basil

    Whole plants are cut just before flowering begins and dried or distilled for oil. Leaves are picked during the growing season, harvest mature leaves and flower spikes for fresh use at any time. To dry the leaves, cut bushes at the base and hang out of direct light, then store in an airtight container in a cool place.

    How to propagate Clove Basil

    Seed

    Sow seed in situ in spring when frosts have passed and the soil has warmed up, or into trays indoors. Plant out when the temperatures warm up.

    Cuttings

    Take soft wood cuttings in spring, root with rooting hormone and bottom heat. Or place in a glass of water until rooted.

    Special features of Clove Basil

    Attractive flowers

    White flowers

    Attractive leaves

    Edible sweet leaves

    Pot plant

    Popular potplant

    Other uses of Clove Basil

    Edible

    Medicinal