kale5.jpg

GoFarm Blog

Flower of the Week: Basil

Photo and description from Shannon Harker of Western Flora Co.

Latin name: Ocimum basilicum

Family: Mint family

Well known to pesto lovers as a culinary herb, basil makes a beautiful addition to summer floral arrangements too. Basil originates from warmer regions in central Africa and Asia. The name "basil" comes from basilius - the Greek basilikón phutón, meaning "royal/kingly plant.” Possibly because the plant may have been used in production of perfumes for royalty.


Basil comes in a wide variety of scents and colors - there’s a basil for everyone! Favorite ornamental varieties are Mrs. Burns Lemon (lime green and lemony scented). Cinnamon (purple stems and flowers with bright green stems with a cinnamon scent), Aromatto (clovey scented, with deep purple and green leaves), Red (incredible red flowers), and Amethyst (deep purple, almost black leaves).






For use as a floral addition to bouquets, farmers wait to harvest them until they have flowering spikes and woody stems - this prevents wilting. They still tend to wilt if they get too hot. A fresh cut into cool water and a quick 10 minutes in the refrigerator can help revive a wilted basil stem.


Basil is beautiful and easy to grow - well worth a home gardeners effort - it will reward you with a tasty garnish to a summer drink and beautifully complements any annual garden with its lush foliage and pollinator friendly flowers. Although edible, we never recommend consuming any of the bouquet ingredients - some bouquet additions can cause stomach upset if consumed, and we can never guarantee that flowers have been treated with the same high standards of food safety as food products.


Recent Posts