african blue basil ocimum kilimandscharicum

African Blue Basil (Ocimum Kilimandscharicum)

African blue basil (Ocimum Kilimandscharicum) is a fairly new variety of basil that is cold tolerant and has a strong, aromatic scent of camphor. The leaves of a young plant are purple and turn green as the plant matures.

African blue basil was created in Athens, Ohio in 1983 when two type of basil were accidentally crossed. The variety has a strong smell of camphor which comes from its East African parent plant which contains upwards of 60 percent camphor. Camphor is common in other herbs such as rosemary and sage.


African blue basil is extremely cold tolerant, but like other types of basil, it thrives in hot, dry weather when the plant can receive the maximum amount of sunlight.

This variety of basil needs to be started from the cutting of an existing plant. It cannot be started from seed. When planting, find a sunny spot and be sure to keep the soil moist. African blue basil may be tolerant to colder weather but it does not grow very well in the cold. African blue basil plants produce new leaves consistently so do not be shy when harvesting leaves.

Culinary Uses

African blue basil has many culinary uses. O