ROSIE BASIL (O. basilicum) is a sport of Rubin with stronger stems and a deep purple rose color with no green "off" types. The shape is compact and uniform. While it is an exquisite ornamental, especially when it is producing its lavender flowers, it is edible with a mild aromatic flavor, and makes a lovely and delicious vinegar. Annual. 50 seeds.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES: There is good reason that basil is combined in a lot of hefty Italian dishes! It aids digestion and also is a mild sedative. Basil contains six different compounds that reduce blood pressure and ease the symptoms of emphysema and bronchitis. It is also an effective bug repellant. I like to grow pots on my deck as well as all over my garden!
GROWING TIPS: Basils like warm weather, so don't set your starts out too early, and be sure to harden them off well before transplanting. OR, wait until weather is quite established and direct sow. Here in Zone 7B, I get many of certain varieties such as lemon basil volunteering each spring, so some can reseed in warmer climes. Set aside a corner of your garden for your perennial herb bed. But annuals like basil are also wonderful planted on the ends of your rows of tomatoes and eggplant. Don't plant too close as basil needs air and light. When your plants are 6" high, pinch out the central stem. It will begin the branching process that you will need to repeat with every branch as it develops. In this way you will keep the plant from going to seed and also produce a large bushy healthy specimen. Be sure to start some in pots toward the end of summer to bring in and put under grow lights for your winter kitchen!