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PlantFiles: Greek Column Basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Lesbos'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ocimum (OSS-ih-mum) (Info)
Species: basilicum (bass-IL-ee-kum) (Info)
Cultivar: Lesbos
Additional cultivar information: (aka Aussie Sweet, Greek Columnar)

Synonym:Ocimum x citriodorum

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bellashere On Jul 24, 2010, bellashere from Tampa, FL wrote:

pot it,place it in the sun . water about every third day.

most importantly.....Leave it alone!!! The heat doesn't bother it even here in Tampa.

Positive KanapahaLEW On Jan 10, 2010, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This basil is a mainstay every year in the Herb Garden at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. It has good basil flavor and produces abundant foliage on tall columnar plants. I take cuttings before first frost each year and easily root them in sterile potting mix in the greenhouse. By spring I have good-sized gallon plants to put back in the garden for the warm seasons. If I could have only ONE type of basil (and I normally grow around ten different types) this would be it.

Positive TerriFlorida On Oct 14, 2003, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:

I bought this from farther north as O. b. "Greek Columnar" last spring. I bought five, but I didn't need to. This plant here grows nearly 3' tall and is strictly columnar until the branches get too heavy. They break and flop over, I cut them away and hang them upside down to dry or stick them in the ground where they root very readily here.

If you love to cook with basil, this is your plant. You don't have to cut off flowers. You have to cut the plant back. It is accepting of pot culture, so would be easy to protect where not hardy. It is ridiculously easy to get more of. It is highly aromatic, stronger than annual basils (I've grown many kinds) and more complicated. I don't cook, but luckily I know lots of people who do! :-)

Neutral mystic On Jan 9, 2003, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

If you want a basil to grow year round this would be it. This basil does not flower or produce seed. Needs warm temperatures to do well.

Neutral herbin On Aug 14, 2001, herbin from Park Hill, OK (Zone 5b) wrote:

A tender perennial basil that does not bloom. Small green leaves with purple veins. Propagated by cuttings. An unusual scented basil. The fragrance is spicy, of cinnamon, allspice and cloves,and even citrusy. Columnar growth habit.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gainesville, Florida
Plant City, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Bryan, Texas
Canyon Lake, Texas

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