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shrub/herb/tree with red stem, green leaves with red edges

Sacramento, CA

I've spent an hour trying to identify this online through various different databases. I can't figure it out.

It's hard to tell from the pictures - the plant has a red stem and green leaves with red edges. The edges of the leaves appear to be wavy, not serrated. When I broke off the leaf, I noticed a fresh scent and slightly tasted the leaf - it tastes like a cross between mint, basil, and verbena. Could it be a type of one of these, or something else?

It is a young plant, probably a couple of months old, a couple of feet tall at the moment. So I'm not sure if it will grow into a big bush, a tree, or if it will stay a small herb plant.

Thumbnail by beastvold Thumbnail by beastvold
Sacramento, CA

I'm still trying to get this identified. I'm thinking that it is some sort of shrub. Looking more closely at the plant, it is growing out of a huge root system next to a buried stump. I think the plant was cut down at some point in the past and is now shooting up little saplings.

I'm hoping that it is something edible because the leaves smell wonderful. But, I don't want to start eating without knowing exactly what it is. Does basil have a species that grows in shrub form?

I can answer questions about specific parts of the plant if you need it to aid identification.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I do not think your plant is a Basil....but check out this link for Sweet Bay....i think what you have is the laurus nobilis....the bay leaf used in cooking.


Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

I agree with Laurus nobilis.

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