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Ocimum basilicum 'Amethyst'

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Common Name: Amethyst Basil
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Herb & Spice Ornamental Foliage


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Maximum Height 0.4 m to 0.5 m

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Annual herb up to 0.5 m tall.
Foliage Young leaves are mostly a glossy, dark purple, while older leaves are purplish  near the base and yellowish green around the leaf margin with dark purple veins. The edges of the leaves are toothed and bend downwards, forming umbrella-shaped leaves that look like Sweet Basil.
Stems Stems are dark purple and tend to lean compared to other basil cultivars which are usually erect.
Flowers Flowers have a light purple upper lobe, a white lower lobe and dark purple centre. The stamens are purplish with small, yellow anthers.
Fruits Dry, indehiscent fruits are known as nutlets and look like small seeds.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Herb and Spice : The leaves have a sweet flavour similar to Genovese Basil. They are best used fresh in salads or sandwiches. Although they can be cooked to make sauces, the dark colour of the sauce may be unappetizing to some. )

Landscaping Features

Landscaping The dark purple, glossy leaves are attractive and add a striking contrast in colour.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Purple

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 32224
Species ID 6632
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: 20 April 2020.