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Basil, Cinnamon

Common name: Cinnamon Basil

Scientific name: Ocimum basilicum

Family: Lamiaceae

Uses: Aromatic, cosmetic, culinary, medicinal. Strong cinnamon scent - popular in hot drinks and with fruits.

History: The name comes from the Greek word "basileus" mean

Description: Annual with leafy stems and thin branchy roots. Flowers are two-lipped, 1/2 inch long, white and grow in racemes at top of stems. Leaves are opposite, ovate with an entire margin. They are 2-3inches long and range from yellow-green to dark green depending on soil fertility. Fruit are tiny, dark brown seeds. Leaves have a cinnamon fragrance and flavor.

Plant type: Annual

Hardiness: Hardiness zone 4-10.

Height: 12-24 inches

Width: 12 inches

Light: Full sun

Soil: rich, moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.

Pests:

Disease: Few, seedlings are prone to damping off.

Cultivation: Seedlings are slow growing and delicate. Start indoors in peat pots to minimize disturbance, or sow after last frost. Thin to 12 inches.

Companion planting: Improves growth and flavor of asparagus, tomatoes

Propagation: Seed, cuttings.

Flowering period: July to August

Flower color: white

Harvesting: Harvest in early Autumn before the cold weather arrives and the leaves turn limp and yellow. Cut the long, leafy stalks for drying just before the plant comes into flower. Spread them out in a shady place or wire mesh to encourage quick drying. Do not hang in bunches as the leaves dry to slowly and can mold. Oven drying is not advised, as the leaves scorch. Basil can be frozen--chop fresh and place into ice cube trays, add a small amount of water.

Garden notes: