Greek Basil (Ocimum Minimum)

Greek Basil (Ocimum Minimum)

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Greek basil (ocimum minimum) is a small but bushy variety of basil that features tiny flavorful pointed oval leaves that grows to be about 10 inches tall. The plant grows in a small and compact globe shape similar to spicy globe basil (ocimum basilicum spicy globe) and boxwood basil (ocimum basilicum boxwood).

In villages of Greece, it is common for basil to be placed in pots on gate posts and doors of homes as a sign of welcoming guests and for good luck. It is also placed on tables to keep flies and other bugs away thanks to the small light green leaves that pack pungent, sweet, and delicate aroma. Greek basil is dipped by Orthodox priests into holy water before they sprinkle it on the congregations.

Greek basil grows wonderfully in pots and is very tolerant to changes and swings in watering, humidity, and soil conditions. It grows much more easily than other types of basil. Greek basil is also much easier to grow from seed than sweet basil (ocimum basilicum). To promote more growth, be sure to prune off flower stems when they appear. The flowers are also edible.

Greek basil mixes wonderfully with many dishes including salads, potatoes, pastas, tomatoes, shrimp, and can also be used to make pesto.