From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


I would say that the two are dis-similar enough. Basil is a crop for gardeners, cooks, and herbalists Ocimum basilicum, Labiateae, is of interest to taxonomists Koibeatu (talk) 18:36, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

A fuller discussion - my take on it is don't merge, just clean it up so that one entry is about the genus, one entry is about the plants commonly called basil (some arent even in the genus) and then and the various species should be their own entries. This is a common problem on the wikipedia when there are plants used by humans. Koibeatu (talk) 16:06, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Since everything that is one page is on the other this is mere duplication - I support merge, which is redundant anyway. However this page needs considerable tidy up of it is also the main page for Ocimum basilicum --Michael Goodyear (talk) 07:08, 15 July 2011 (UTC)


"A similar story is told of the Longobard queen Rosalind."

Who is this queen Rosalind? I never heard anything about this queen. I wonder if someone for a mistake wrote Rosalind instead of Rosamund the wife of the Lombard King Alboin. Can anyone give a citation or add a few rows about this queen?


How odd. Those apostrophes look just like apostrophes to my browser. What did you change? -- Zoe

The character after "Witches" was an invalid character which shows as a square in the font I have set in my browser. In other fonts it looks like a wicket or the upper-right corner of a square or a filled-in rectangle. On Windows these look like apostrophes, quotes, dashes, and a few other things. On Macs, I don't know what they look like, but there's a character that apparently looks like an apostrophe on a Mac and an accented O on Windows and Unix. -phma


Any hope that someone experienced could explain cultivation here? Shawnb 19:55, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Gave it a go just copied and pasted some thing I wrote a while back for my site, tried to make it so it is usufull to every country.andham2000

Do you think you could possibly rephrase it without using first person ("I bought" etc). It is good information, although not really encyclopedic as it stands. I could give it a go, but at the moment I don't have the time, and I'm also no expert on the subject. / Alarm 06:17, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I edited the new material before I saw this discussion. I removed the first-person material, and tidied the style of the rest. It still needs wikifying, and I'll do that when I get a moment. (The one thing that might be added is that basil can be rather temperamental.) Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:00, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry yes I new to Wikipedia, I will ensure that I don't write in 1st person again. [[user:andham2000[andham2000]]


Can anyone cite some authority for this assertion that basil is poisonous?

Hmm. I found this article but it just says there may be a problem. I can find nothing to justify so strong a statement, so I am removing it until someone comes up with something more definitive. -- WormRunner | Talk 06:05, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

I could not fins anything to say that it was poisonous, I think you are correct to move it.Andham2000 12:03, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

It is strange that health benefits of basil are not mentioned at all. There's a number of pages related to that issue (e.g. or, so it's a bit missleading to speak only of the negative aspects of this herb. 18:30, 25 October 2006 (UTC) Renu


The image currently on the page listed as Image:OcimumBasilicum.jpg appears to be Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) and not Ocimum basilicum. -- WormRunner | Talk 20:23, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Picture of dried basil[edit]

The picture of the pile of dried basil seems a bit unnessesary as it provides no informative text and dosen't give people a better understanding of what basil is. Dried basil is also not as important as other dried herbs, because of the poor taste. In addition to the fact that the picture serves no purpose, it's also positioned badly and makes the page look messy.


The picture of dried basil adds more to the page then the 2 pictures of flowering basil. Wether or not you think basil tastes good has no relevance to their being a picture of dried basil. In a lot of countries, the dried basil will look a lot more familiar then the flowering basil, or the leavy picture in the taxonomybox. Henna 10:12, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I must admit that I agree with Peivind here. First, the picture could be just about any dried herb or, indeed, dried other things. Secondly, its current positioning is poor (I'll change that at least, though I don't want to remove it again without consensus). Thirdly, as the two existing pictures are of very different species, I think that they add quite a bit to the article (I'd like to see clearer photos of other species too). Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 08:19, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Do we also need the part about Americans being too lazy to grow their own basil? How is this factual in any way? Do we know for a fact that more basil is grown by gardeners in Germany as opposed to the state of California? --J4k3 23:52, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

i'm from germany and i've never been to california, but my guess would be that germans indeed cultivate more basil than their californian counterparts. don't worry though, because people in CA probably grow more and more potent weed.. anyway, i don't think that information should be contained in this article. furthermore, and that's actually why i'm writing this: a picture of dried basil is about as useless as dried basil. and yes, i'm not going to sign this

Chinese characters - pin ying please[edit]

Can someone who knows the Chinese add the Pinyin equivalent of the Chinese characters in the section "Other basils"? Thanks. Singkong2005 23:49, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Lemon basil / Indonesian "Kemangi"[edit]

Can someone who knows, firsthand, about Indonesian lemon basil please clarify whether it is Ocimum americanum (which tastes very much like lemons, although it is sometimes called lime basil) or Ocimum citriodorum (which tastes something like lemon balm)?

Perhaps all the different culinary species should be broken out and discussed systematically at the bottom of the page...

So far the "basil" entry is certainly rather spare and lean compared to the one for "tea". ;-) krnntp

Health benefits[edit]

This article is rather disappointing, as there's no mention of the health benefits/nutritional profile (other than an odd mention of ayurveda, as basil is used for nutritional purposes elsewhere too). Instead there's a rather flippant mention of it as a carcinogen. Greenman 20:35, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Basil is cited as "anti-cancer" in the first paragraph and containing a known carcinogen and teratogen in rats and mice. Some clarification is needed I suppose. 7:15, 14 June 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

According to this page, basil seed is high in dietary fiber (reference 57 on this page). Is the gelatinous coating the fiber? Verdant C (talk) 06:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC) is a commercial site[edit]

After following the link to, I found one page about basil the herb, one with some famous people named Basil, and nothing else to justify its inclusion in this article as anything other than spam. I think the link should be removed. 07:35, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Well spotted! I have removed it. If you see anything else as bad as that, please don’t hesitate to remove it yourself. Briefly explain why you are doing so in the edit summary, and (if necessary) at more length on the talk page. —Ian Spackman 09:50, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

The Name[edit]

I snipped out some information about the word basil ~ that most people don't know it's a proper name, and that some churches are named after St. Basil ~ as it doesn't really belong here. Cheers, Lindsay 10:55, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

In the United States,Basil is pronounced differently depending on whether it is the herb, or someone's name. It was back when Fawlty Towers was being broadcast regularly in the early 1980s, that I first realized the person's name was pronounced differently than the herb. (talk) 23:50, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
As is usually the case, it's not that cut and dried. I've heard both pronunciations from Americans for both the herb and the name. (I pronounce both in the "British" manner and I'm American.) Kostaki mou (talk) 15:54, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

My reaction to basil...[edit]

Hey guys, over the last year or two, a certain herb had been making me almost vomit. About 6 months ago I discovered that it was infact basil. Basically, when it's inside my mouth, the flavour that's released is almost unbearable. Does anyone have any idea which chemical in basil could cause my irritation. This isn't like a "i don't like seafood" type of thing. It literally makes me sick. Thanks.

look up aversion. My friends got one to ginger ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:55, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

The name[edit]

There is also a funny dwarf named basil... I think it's in a northern european story... maybe Switzerland? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Basil in other languages[edit]

I've removed the recently added section "Basil in other languages", which contained the following:

Romanian: Busuioc

There was already a comment which said "It's not reasonable to put ALL of the names of basil in other languages than English into the article" and I agree. This kind of thing (a) is largely already taken care of by looking at the interwiki links, and (b) is a better fit for a site like wiktionary anyway. Kingdon (talk) 20:30, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Methanol Dangers[edit]

While certain types of basil may indeed produce methanol when in contact with fire, the idea that the leaves would then become fatal, especially through mere skin contact, is far-fetched to say the least. Fatal dose of methanol in humans starts at around 80ml; absorbing such a quantity through the skin would be difficult even when dealing with the pure compound. Since there is no citation supporting this assertion I'm changing it to a less extreme warning. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bananasandramen (talkcontribs) 08:06, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Basil tastes similar to anise?? whoever came up with that must have been on crack, because basil tastes nothing like anise.```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Lettuce-leaf basil is distinctly aniseedy. Ian Spackman (talk) 21:13, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

What's this article about?[edit]

Is this article about Ocimum basilicum, in which case there should be no mention of holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), and the article should have a "not to be confused with" section at the top. Alternatively, if it's about the variety of herbs going by the common name basil, it shouldn't say it's Ocimum basilicum at the top of the article. Greenman (talk) 19:38, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Ease of hybridizing[edit]

If I plant different species of Basil next to each other, is there a chance they will hybridize? (talk) 23:53, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Two articles[edit]

This page clearly states at the beginning that it's about the herb Ocimum basilicum. I'm puzzled as to why there is now a link from the binomial to a parallel article under that name. I don't work much on, but it seems like a clear case for merging. -- Shimmin Beg (talk) 07:55, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I agree, the two articles should be merged. Note that this page is almost identical to the New World Encyclopedia entry on Basil, since it was re-written by NWE writers & editors: [1]. Many of the problems cited above derive from their work. [It is understood that many of those writers were also Wikipedians.] --Melba1 (talk) 06:11, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Info about the nomenclature.....[edit]

I'm not sure if the trival and latin name are associated with the place of Basilicata

-- (talk) 02:28, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:36, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Peat Pots[edit]

I think our text is too close to what the source says and reads too much into the "peat pot" part and believe the author is just saying they grow best in pots. I would like to see some independent sourcing for the plant growing best in peat pots verse growing in other pots. Other references for growing basil include: [1] and [2] and [3] and [4] None of which say it grows best in peat pots. This reference recommended plastic pots without bottoms for small basil plants [5] . Hardyplants (talk) 03:03, 2 August 2010 (UTC)


  1. ^ Beth Hanson; Brooklyn Botanic Garden (1 June 2001). Gourmet herbs: classic and unusual herbs for your garden and your table. Brooklyn Botanic Garden. pp. 60–. ISBN 9781889538211. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  2. ^ Charles Dowding (1 September 2007). Organic Gardening: The Natural No-Dig Way. Green Books. pp. 62–. ISBN 9781903998915. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  3. ^ Dayle Hayes; Rachel Laudan (September 2008). Food and Nutrition / Editorial Advisers, Dayle Hayes, Rachel Laudan. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 518–. ISBN 9780761478249. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  4. ^ Geoff Stebbings (13 March 2009). Growing Your Own Fruit and Veg for Dummies. For Dummies. pp. 379–. ISBN 9780470699607. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  5. ^ Mary Preus (1 February 2000). The Northwest Herb Lover's Handbook: A Guide to Growing Herbs for Cooking, Crafts, and Home Remedies. Sasquatch Books. pp. 16–. ISBN 9781570611728. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
I agree that clearer references are needed. It seems to be difficult to find a clear statement that peat pots are best for basil that doesn't come from a source with a conflict of interest. In fact, there are problems with them drying out, and some competing products that claim to reduce that problem. A clear statement that basil suffers badly from transplanting could be a substitute, if it comes from a reliable source (in my experience it is not a problem to transplant basil). Nadiatalent (talk) 17:43, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Rewriting the article[edit]

As a few people earlier have mentioned, this article needs some rewriting to clarify what it covers. The main problem is that it's unclear whether this article should be about the culinary herb "basil" as a whole (i.e., the several different species in the genus Ocimum that have culinary uses), the species Ocimum basilicum, or the particular culinary herb "sweet basil" (i.e., O. basilicum 'Sweet', 'Genovese', etc.). This problem isn't limited to just this article, though; I've rewritten and expanded several other basil articles such as cinnamon basil and Thai basil, and they all have the problem that the common name is extremely imprecise and can refer to several different cultivars or even species of basil. I'm planning on working on lemon basil next, which, similar to this article, is confused between the particular cultivar "lemon basil" versus the species O. × citriodorum, which encompasses several cultivars, not all of which smell like lemon. In the meantime, for now here are my thoughts on how to organize this article:

There's already a page on the genus Ocimum, which at first glance might be the natural place to put information on "basil" as a whole, but I think there are two problems with that proposal. First, "Ocimum" covers all the species within that genus, but not all species of Ocimum are used by humans for cooking; in other words, "basil (genus, i.e., Ocimum)" ≠ "basil (culinary herb)". Second, it's too technical a term. I would imagine that most people when searching on Wikipedia for "basil" are looking either for "sweet basil" or general information on the different varieties of basil like sweet basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, holy basil, etc. It doesn't make sense for them to have to go to the Ocimum page to get the general info they want. It's also too confusing to make a page on basil (whether "sweet basil" only or O. basilicum as a whole) and another page on "basil (culinary herb)". Thus, I think the "basil" article should cover, at least superficially, all of the different types of basil used in cooking. Given that, one thing to consider is whether the other types of basil should go into a separate section, perhaps near the beginning, or whether they should be woven throughout the article. I'm leaning towards the latter, but I think it will depend on how much text there should be discussing the other types of basil.

Next, we should consider whether this article should act as the main page for O. basilicum. We've got a few pages on cultivars of O. basilicum like Thai basil and Mrs. Burns lemon basil, but these other pages don't really go into the details on O. basilicum as a whole, such as its morphological characteristics. Without elaborating, I think it makes the most sense for information on O. basilicum to be on this page.

Finally, it's worth considering whether "sweet basil" should be split from the "basil" article, and if so, whether "sweet basil" should act as the main page for O. basilicum. I'm guessing most people mean "sweet basil" when they say "basil". That suggests putting the information on "sweet basil" in this article. On the other hand, it might get too unwieldy to try to put everything in the "basil" page. I'm leaning towards keeping "sweet basil" in this page though. It can be split later if the article does get too long. Talu42 (talk) 06:01, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Photo & cultivar list[edit]

The photo of a bee foraging on flowers does not show true basil (Ocimum basilicum) but rather African blue basil, a hybrid with another species (note the flower color). Similarly, African Blue is not a cultivar of this species and is misleadingly listed as such. EDIT: on a second reading, this article is a mishmash of information about several different species, hybrids, and cultivars of the genus Ocimum, not just Ocimum basilicum as the introductory paragraph would suggest. (talk) 20:58, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Anise basil or Persian basil (Licorice basil || O. basilicum 'Licorice'||)[edit]

Anise basil is not the same kind of basil that Persians/Iranians eat inside Iran. Anise basil is thai basil. It has red stems. Persians eat a similar albeit different basil called rayhan in Persian. The stems are not red and the leaves are not as pointy looking as Thai basil. I am not sure what the proper name is but it is definitely not thai basil. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:08, 21 August 2015 (UTC)


I need help with my essential oil wikiproject please. Wikipedia:WikiProject Essential Oils Ilikeguys21 (talk) 13:10, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Lemon basil[edit]

I am growing Lemon basil which is supposed to taste like lemon. (images). It does not. It tastes sweet and minty. Does anyone know if my image uploads are right? Thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 19:54, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Companion planting[edit]

Moved from the article for discussion here. Source is an unpublished thesis so fails WP:RS, WP:V. --Zefr (talk) 23:19, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

In double-blind taste tests, basil has been found not to significantly affect the taste of tomatoes when planted adjacent to them, contrary to popular recommendation.

Looks like the thesis was subsequently used in this publication from the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture. It makes all of the same conclusions and should suffice to support this sentence, if updated. Scoundr3l (talk) 23:29, 15 September 2016 (UTC)