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Ocimum selloi Benth.

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Common Name: Green Pepper Basil
Full Sun Moderate Water Herb or Spice Ornamental Flowers Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Habitat Terrestrial
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial herb which resembles plants in the Capsicum genus.
Foliage Glossy, dark green leaves are oblong-elliptic (elongated oval shape) with a toothed leaf margin.
Flowers Small, purple flowers are arranged in long, arching spike inflorescences.
Fruits Dry, indehiscent fruits are known as nutlets.
Cultivation This species requires consistently moist, but well-drained soils. In Singapore, it should be protected from intense afternoon sun. Compared to other basil species and cultivars, it is more disease and pest resistant. It continues to produce leaves after flowering.
Etymology The species epithet is named after Friedrich Sellow (var. Sello) (1789-1831), a German botanist and naturalist.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Herb and Spice : The leaves of this plant have a flavour which is more mild yet complex compared to other basils. It is used in salads, sandwiches or egg dishes. )
Medicinal ( The leaves are used in folk medicine to treat stomachaches and fever. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory remedy in Brazil. )

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Small Gardens, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements High
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Nut / Nutlet
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)

Image Repository



Master ID 31393
Species ID 5790
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 23 February 2022.