Ocimum, Ornamental Basil 'African Blue'


Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ocimum (OSS-ih-mum) (Info)
Cultivar: African Blue
Additional cultivar information:(aka Kasar)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Castro Valley, California

National City, California

San Diego, California

San Pedro, California

Sunnyvale, California

Jacksonville, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Niceville, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Guyton, Georgia

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Derwood, Maryland

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Averill Park, New York

Bastrop, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Belton, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Yoakum, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 9, 2018, HNemerov from Bastrop, TX wrote:

Its botanical name is Ocimum kilimandscharicum basilicum 'Dark Opal.' It's a sterile inter-genus cross, which is why the name is so long. While it cannot produce seed, it propagates easily from tip cuttings. Every fall, I take healthy cuttings and root them, then grow them out in #3 nursery pots over winter. By spring, I have landscape size plants, and I stress the landscape aspect of this plant. It gets big, up to 4 feet high and 6 feet wide. It produces abundant purple blooms on spikes held above the leaves. This plant is my champion bee attractor. It also attracts many butterfly varieties, especially in the fall when native nectar plants stop blooming and go dormant. It is NOT frost tolerant. A light frost will damage it and stop flower production. Nor is it a root hardy perennial: I ... read more


On Apr 3, 2016, TxSugarMagnolia from Yoakum, TX wrote:

This is an amazingly beautiful and hardy plant. The flavor to me is a little "spicer" than a run-of the mill sweet basil. It is attractive to honeybees, and there were literally swarms of them a great deal of the time when the plant got larger while being planted in the ground in my garden in South Texas. The only caveat with this basil is that it needs plenty of room to grow because it can become HUGE. It overshadowed my mints and thyme and it was difficult for them to get sunlight. This plant likes to be the center of attention, apparently. It finally died with a frost. If I had to grow another one, I would keep it in a container and protect it from frost. Otherwise, a very enjoyable, lovely, flavorful basil.


On Jul 17, 2014, suntanbeachman from Rockledge, FL wrote:

This is the one basil to grow in Florida because it is so resistant to heat, humidity, drought, and deluge that it is hard to go wrong. The leaves are not as soft and succulent and tender as the traditional Italian style basil, because they are a bit leathery and dry in comparison. All that means that if you are going to eat the leaves raw in a salad, you should be sure to cut the leaves into the finest thinnest chiffonade possible. Cooking the leaves in a sauce will tenderize the leaves and add an amazing dimension of flavor if you simmer it and soften it long enough.
The flowers will steal the show. Amazing flavor, and an amazing garnish. Strip the flowers off the stem, discard the stem, and sprinkle the flowers on top of a salad, or garnish on top of a spaghetti red sauce... read more


On Sep 18, 2013, sherigoodwin from Guyton, GA wrote:

I raise 7 types of basil. African Blue is one of the easier ones here in South Georgia. I love the flavor, I makes boat loads of pesto for friends and family. I use a blend of basil but this is the predominant basil in the blend. It holds up well, flavor does not diminish with freezing for up to 12 months.


On Oct 6, 2011, Texas_Mochi from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

I love this plant. We have three in a bed, and it not only survived it's first year in the South Central drought this year, but it thrived. Gorgeous - fragrant - and the bees adore it. I am moving to Corpus Christi in January, and I'll be taking cuttings with me. I love this plant!!!


On Mar 23, 2011, alphzoup from Kissimmee, FL wrote:

I purchased a small plant in a 4" pot several years ago from Whole Foods (in New Orleans), and that one plant is the parent of so many other plants now! They are super easy to grow (in the South), the bees love them, and the huge bushes are beautiful. The one drawback is that they should not be used as foundation plants, as they will need to be replaced every season or two. Even the central Florida (where I live now) winters will kill this plant, but as long as you take cuttings (root them in water) before the freeze, it will live on! Even if it not killed by frost, it will likely need to be replaced often; it is an herb after all. Pruning it almost down to the ground may allow you to keep the same plant from one year to the next...and don't forget to make new plants from what you pru... read more


On Apr 2, 2010, harleysmom from Sunnyvale, CA wrote:

The good news is - honeybees LOVE this plant! The bad news - not frost-tolerant; needs to be covered in winter. My 5 plants got toasted this past winter so I need to get more. Last summer we had 30 to 40 honeybees every day in our garden. The black bees ( the shiny ones & the furry black ones with 1 or 2 yellow stripes) also like these OK, but they prefer the salvias & borage.


On Aug 19, 2006, GD_Rankin from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

A very nice aromatic Basil that can handle the south Texas sun for several hours a day. The blooms are plentiful and start when the plant is still fairly young.

This is a fast grower in my region and starts very easy from cuttings. The butterflies love the blooms and will cover the entire plant at times. I noticed there was only one photo on file, at the time of this posting, so I'll add a few more to help others that would like to see more of this plant in full bloom. They were taken in mid August on a very warm summer afternoon.


On Mar 2, 2005, dakotaroser from Kingston, NH wrote:

First time growing this basil, I love growing so many basil varieties and give them
all a try. This was a rapid grower and I enjoyed this basil
in salads especially. I will be getting a small plant to start
again, this time I will overwinter it in the basement with
plant lights, its one of my two or three favorites! I love the Thai Basil
but it was so pickey about moisture and cooler early
summer weather in southeast New Hampshire, that I
ended up loosing most plants. Some basil, the stems
get a fungus and perish( pathogenic fusarium wilt fungus),within a day so its trail and error
with some basils. One of my favorite herbs to grow in a
sunny garden spot.


On Aug 18, 2001, herbin from Park Hill, OK (Zone 5b) wrote:

Tender Perennial. Purplish-blue cast, strong growth habit. Leaf veins, flower spikes and stems are purple while the rest is green. The A hint of sweet camphor makes for an unusual flavor. Hybrid between dark opal and camphor basils.