Red basil: where to buy, seeds and origin. From cultivation (in pots or in the garden) to uses in the kitchen. All useful information on red basil.
Thered basilis a variety of the speciesOcium basilicum. On this page you will find all the useful information about hiscultivationand yoursorigins.
Red basil, origins and characteristics
Like the speciesOcium basilicum,also thered basil it is, in a certain sense, native to tropical Africa and Asia, but the history of thisplantit is more complex.
This variety, in fact, was obtained after a lot of crossings carried out by botanistsJoseph Lent and John Scarchukof the University of Connecticut, in the 1950s. The aim was to get one variety of basil of high culinary value ... the aim, in fact, was not to obtain a basil plant with colored leaves, but only more functional in kitchen: the color of the leaves is linked to the high amount of anthocyanins, in particular cyanidin-3-5-glucoside and other compounds called cyanidins and peonidins. These are strong substancesproperty antioxidants.
The anthocyanin concentration is approximately 18 mg per 100 grams of fresh leaves. For its properties and characteristics, the leaf basilViolet, known asred basil, in 1962 he won the All-America Selections (AAS) award, the oldest award for edible varieties in all of North America.
Thereplantit has large, toothed, purple / purplish leaves so that it is also known aspurple basil. The flowers are pink. It is an annual plant that grows very quickly reaching an average height of between 30 and 50 cm. In ideal conditions it can reach up to 60 cm.
Red basil, cultivation
Compared to the classic basil, the red one needs milder temperatures to thrive and better express its aroma. The plant, in fact, grows well with ideal temperatures between 20 and 25 ° C but only if the thermometer does not drop below 12 ° C at night.
How to grow red basil?
You can start with thesowing or with the transplant.
When to sow basil?
In the open ground, it can be sown from May to July, depending on the geographical area you belong to. Sow on already moist soil or, you cansowin a protected seedbed to then plant the already developed red basil plants.
Thered basilit should be grown in a sunny area, in summer it resists well even in partial shade. The plant is very sensitive to cold, so both for sowing and for planting, you can proceed from May.
To get aromatic leaves, remember to always trim the flower stems.
Remember to constantly give water to the plants, especially if grown in pots. The rule ofwater little but often.
In the kitchen it is used like the classic basil, for pesto, salads, sauces, bruschetta and pizza!
How to grow red basil in pots
The cultivation of basil at home can be started, through thesowing, at any time of the year. Just remember to respect the requirements in terms of temperatures and brightness.
For instructions on thecultivation of red basil in pots, I suggest you read the dedicated guideBasil, growing in pots. Broadly speaking, the care to be devoted to the potted plant is the same as to be devoted tobasilgreen, with the difference that thered basilit has a greater growth (reaches 60 cm) and therefore needs larger pots.
Red Basil, where to buy
Thered basil(or purple basil) is difficult to find in garden centers. For the purchase you can take advantage of the online purchase. On Amazon, a sachet ofred basilyou buy at the price of 4 euros with shipping costs included. For all information on the product mentioned, I refer you to the Amazon page atthis address.