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Basil - Dark Opal Basil

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This is how we pack and send your Herb Plants to all states except TAS & WA

You will receive
- 1 Dark Opal Basil Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions

All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers

Dark Opal Basil
Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum 'Purpurascens'

Dark opal basil has cerise pink flowers, held on stalks and set against shiny, deep purple leaves. These varieties often have 10-20% green leaves, dotted amongst the purple. When combined with the green and metallic undertones of the leaf colour, the result is a striking and useful garden plant. This basil variety grows to about 45cm high and 25 cm wide, depending on conditions.

It is slower growing and slower to flower than other basil varieties. The 5cm leaves hold well, giving a longer season. Like all basils, pinching out the leaves keeps growth more compact and pinching the flowers heads also helps extend the harvesting period. You may note that the leaves at the top of each branch or stem are the deepest purple, with a slow movement to the lighter green tinged leaves at the base of the plant.

Dark opal basil was developed during the 1950’s by continual crossing within the research plants until the desired consistency was achieved. Although it is marketed under the ‘purpurascens’ label, the true purple basil first named purpurascens was developed in 1830. Many purple basil plants are given this name, so it is wise to check the common name of the variety to be sure. The purple colour is derived from the presence of anthocyanins, which have potential for creation of red pigments.

The culinary uses of dark opal basil are similar to other basils. However, given the beautiful colour this variety is striking when used in dressings and vinegars, salads and desserts to add colour and flavour. It has a lovely scent and a strong flavour. This basil is good for drying, so the colourful leaves can be saved and used later. This variety is the parent plant for a number of ornamental basils, including the sterile African Blue Basil.

Dark opal basil is described as having a variety of medicinal and health benefits including having a general restorative and warming effect, with a mild sedative action. Like other basils, this herb has other health benefits, such as improvement of digestive function, relaxant for muscle spasms and cramps, improvement of nausea, an antibacterial effect on infections, and treatment for acne and insect bites.

Each basil variety has distinctive features, however, the general properties and growing conditions are very similar and details can be found in our Basil entry.

All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.


If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can either return your order for a full refund or exchange it for online store credit.

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