Susan W
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Basil, varieties

Perhaps we need a whole forum on basil! Just kidding.

Getting down to business, there is regular green basil. In this labeled Sweet Basil, and there's Genovese. Differences? Preferences? Growth patterns?
Have fun!
Susan

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PunkRotten
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I grew sweet basil and Nufar (nufar is a hybrid of Genovese). What I noticed with the sweet basil was that the leaves were smaller and the plants themselves were smaller. They were about 12" tall, whereas the Nufar was more like 18". As for taste the tastes were subtly different in my experience.

The sweet basil was not "sweet", if that was what it was supposed to be like. Both are good to make Pesto with though.

jpr54_
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basil

after receiving several catalogues-i realize their are more than 1-2 varieties

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rainbowgardener
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Oh yes... at least 60 varieties and more being added all the time:

lemon basil, lime basil, cinnamon basil, thai spicy, purple, red, blue and green basils, small leaf, large leaf, lettuce leaf, dwarf and full sized plants, holy basil....

I have lemon basil growing right now, will be planting a red basil in the next few days and then a green one a couple weeks later.
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lorax
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I grow as many different types as I can get my grubby little paws on. At the moment, I've got Lettuce Leaf, Elephant, Genovese, Sweet, Thai, Spicy Bush, Greek, Opal, and Purple basils growing, and each has a very different character and flavour. The sweetest is probably the Elephant; the spiciest is the Thai, the strongest is the Greek, and the best (IMHO) is the Purple. I grow the Genovese exclusively for use with tomatoes in Italian style dishes.

jpr54_
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where do u purchase your plants and/or seeds?

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PunkRotten
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I think I got around 10 varieties myself. I got Genovese, sweet basil, lemon basil, thai basil, a red, some purples etc

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digitS'
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Susan, Richter's separates the basils into groups: Sweet, Genovese, Bush, Purple, and Other.

Johnny's has: Pesto, Fusarium Resistant, Asian, Citrus, Fine Leaf, and Purple.

I'm not too sure how to think of these groupings . . . Not all of them are Ocimum basilicum but of those that are, there's still a little randomness.

Johnny's puts the Sweet and Genovese together under Pesto. I am really okay with that. I'd like to think of pesto basil as "sweet." We all have our individual tastes in things (and as herb growers, we really should encourage explorations in that sort of thing :wink: ). I'm inclined to prefer Italian Large Leaf here and should note that Nufar is a fusarium resistant type and therefore, more trustworthy in my greenhouse & garden but I grow both.

I don't know if I've ever grown any of these Fine Leaf or Bush basils (altho' I've grown what Richter's claimed was a "compact basil" which didn't turn out that way).

Asian, to me, are the Thai basils. Some of them are purple or have purple stems and flowers. I'd really like to put lime and lemon basils in this group. They seem very similar whether they have purple on them, or not.

Dark Opal and its sisters are purple but my understanding is that Opal is an African basil and not Asian :roll: . Some folks like to use Opal basils in cooking but I don't. I consider it an ornamental. You know, there's nothing wrong with being ornamental 8) !

I've grown Ararat basil a few times. It is purple . . . Mount Ararat is in Asia . . . still, I'm very inclined to call it an ornamental basil. I think it is very pretty and has a lovely fragrance. I'm just not interested in eating it.

So for me, I like to think of them as:
Italian, for pesto & with tomatoes
Asian, for noodle soups & the citrus-flavored ones for baked fish
Ornamental, for the flower gardens.

Steve :)
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

Susan W
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Thanks folks. I was directing the question towards just the diff between regular green 'sweet' and Genovese. For my purposes, mainly selling at the market, will probably stay with regular sweet.

Now for the others!
Purple. I like purple ruffles as it is pretty, and seems to stay more 'purple' than the opal that tends to go green.

Lemon. I am trying Mrs Burns this season, and will also have the regular lemon. The regular is slow growing, has small leaves which is hard for getting much. It is so good with the fresh tomatoes, a touch of salt and splash of olive oil. Oh my, is it July yet?!

Mammouth. Gotta try it, and have a seed packet of it.

Thai. I had several plants last season. It is tough, loves hot weather, and sells!
Have fun!
Susan

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ButterflyGarden
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I love the mammoth basil. Especially since I am limited to pots it helps me get the most "bang for my buck" as they say.
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PunkRotten
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Mammoth did really well for me last year. I have 2 right now I am about to collect seeds from. All my mammoths turn into 2 foot dense bushes. These were in the ground though.

lily51
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Agree that there could be a separate basil category.
I've grown many different varieties and love them all.
I enjoy the small leaf ones for landscaping..they are good for edging and garden designs.
Start mine in the greenhouse a bit later, as I wait for the start of June/end of may to plant them outside here.

jpr54_
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I just received catalog from Richter's-

I would like to order Basil seeds from them.

What has your experience been with them delivering to USA

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digitS'
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They have done fine with US shipments.

I complained a bit about the cost of shipping a flat of plants last time but that was probably just because, it is so rare that I order things by the flat. Go a few years between orders and the cost can just floor you! But, you are talking "seeds."

Richters sends me seeds most years. Let's see, I ordered seed from them on 14 Feb this year and they shipped on 21 Feb. I don't remember when it arrived. Shipping cost was $6. There were 6 packets of seed, 1 went on back order. I'm still waiting for the Red Genovese Basil. But, that was new this year.

Might make note of that - if you want the Red Genovese Basil, it is a back order item. (And, if they ship it to you before they get it to me . . . I'm gonna come back here and edit this post!!!)

Steve :wink:
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

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madonnaswimmer
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Seriously, what is the difference between sweet basil and genovese? In Wisconsin it appears they are used interchangeably and sold under the same name...

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digitS'
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Well, Madonnaswimmer - you have waited over 48 hours without getting a detailed explanation of the difference between the 2.

You can already read between the lines of what I said 6 weeks ago, I don't see a reason to separate out a "sweet" basil the way it is often done.

So . . . this isn't much of an answer to your question either :wink: .

BTW - It is a couple weeks before there's any reason to really fret about it but - I'm still waiting for that Red Genovese seed to show up . . .

Steve
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

jpr54_
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In this months Herb companion May 2012
There are 2 articles on basil".A Basil LoversGuide to Basil" and" How to Grow the best Basil" Also here r 3 recipes.

Has anyone bought and planted any new basils?

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