There are over 100 different varieties of Basils and I’m sure there are more! I have searched and searched for one location to find pictures and brief descriptions, but I have never found one source listing them all. I decided to make my own list. I will be adding them as fast as I can and if I am missing any, please send me a comment and I’ll be sure to add it.
African Blue Lemon Basil African blue lemon basil also known as “African Blue” is one of the lesser know varieties of basil. This basil plant blooms in the summertime and sports beautiful little pink flowers making it a nice addition to your garden until it is time to harvest it. It can be added to any number of dishes and goes well with parsley, chives and dill. Not available as seeds, only as cuttings or plugs.
Albahaca Abundante Basil Albahaca Abundante Basil is commonly called “Abundate basil” this variety of basil is considered a rare species. It is a hardy species and can be grown any time of the year. This basil has pretty light purple flowers when in bloom, it is ready for harvesting after 80 days. It compliments many dishes but should only be used with other basils.
Anise Basil Anise basil flowers have a wonderful aroma that will fill you home or garden with a delightful smell. When added to food this basil will liven up any dish you serve with a touch of sweetness.
Ararat Basil Ararat basil is also called “Ararat sweet basil” this basil has a slight licorice flavor to it. It goes great in salads and pasta sauces. Like many basil plants it has the similar purple flowers and a sweet smell.
Aristotle Basil Aristotle Basil forms perfect basketball-size mound, small green leaf, for large patio pot or basket.
Aroma 2 Basil Aroma 2 basil is hybrid basil similar to the Aroma 1 basil. Aroma 2 has even more flavor and scent than Aroma 1 and eventually will replace the Aroma 1 version. To date the Aroma 2 basil is what would be classified as the “New and Improved” aroma basil.
Aromatto Basil Aromatto basil is a beautiful plant and will enhance any garden. The plant is 95% purple in color and only 5% green. The shades of purple vary at each stage of the plants development. It has a spicy flavor when harvested and added to food. It goes great in Mexican dishes and chili.
British Basil Tolerates cool, damp weather, season extender, bright green leaf, rich flavor
Blue Spice Basil Blue Spice basil is a spicy basil as the name implies, with a hint of lemony vanilla flavor and scent. Violet flowers, purple bracts, fuzzy leaf, great for salad or poultry garnish, or bouquet. It is very popular in beverages and baked goods. Although it is the perfect basil for almost any dish.
Boxwood Basil Boxwood basil is used mainly as an ingredient in pasta dishes. The little green plants make a nice addition to your garden and the basil can also be planted in a pot however they grow quickly and may over run your patio, so you should consider planting them in the ground.
Bush Basil Bush basil is favorite basil for French dishes. It is very popular and a favorite in France the chefs include it almost any dish that requires basil. It is also popular in many other cuisines around the world.
Caesar Basil Caesar basil is another favorite of the Italian chefs and makes a great addition to green salads. The leaves have a pleasant aroma to them and the basil adds a nice Italian flavor to sauces and pesto.
Christmas Basil Christmas basil is fairly new to the basil family. It is often used in wedding bouquets during the holiday season. It is also used in dishes the require a sweet/fruity basil. It smells heavenly and looks just as lovely!
Cinnamon Basil Cinnamon basil is an attractive plant it is one of the most common used basils by bakers. It has a cinnamon flavor and scent. It will fill the air with the sweet scent of cinnamon and your baked goods and other dishes will have a nice sweet savory taste when using this basil.
Cinnamon Compact Basil Sharp aroma, narrower leaves with purple stems. This sun loving basil has a compact growth habit. It’s glossy dark green foliage is an attractive addition to the garden. Distinctive cinnamon colored stems, white flowers tinged with bronze. This herb can grow 3 feet in height and width.
Clove Basil Clove basil has a lovely scent and pretty white flowers that add a touch of delicacy to any garden. Clove basil is also a delicious addition to any green salad or it can be substituted in any culinary dish as the basil of choice.
Dwarf Greek Basil Dwarf Greek basil is well liked by chefs. It is used in salads, soups, all meat dishes, especially poultry. It has a nice scent and savory taste. It also serves as a garnish.
East Indian Basil East Indian basil has a slight lemony smell and taste to it. It is also called “Lamiaceae Tree Basil and East India Basil” the basil grows in the form of a shrub up to 8 feet in height! This basil is most commonly used in salads and beverages.
Emily Basil Compact genovese type, very short internodes for maximum stems foliage, large green leaf.
Fineleaf Dwarf Basil Fineleaf Dwarf basil is a small basil plant with thin leaves. It is also often referred to as “Fine Leaf basil” this basil is another choice for all your Italian dishes and pasta sauces. The leaves are tender and bruise easily so handle with care.
Floral Spires Lavender Basil Upright spikes, soft violet, attractive compact bushy plant, anise scented, well flavored green leaf.
Floral Spires White Basil Seeds Upright spikes, snow white, attractive compact bushy plant, anise scented, well flavored green leaf.
Gecofure Basil Gecofure basil is hybrid basil and can be grown anytime of the year. It has a wonderful taste and goes with any dishes and will kitchen with a sweet aroma while cooking. It has large leaves and makes a nice garnish too.
Genovese Red Freddy Basil Marvelous dark red leaved Genovese, smooth broad leaf, same wonderful flavor as green, a real culinary eye catcher! Genovese Red Freddy will not only add flavor, but also a beautiful color to your fresh salads, or fruits.
Genovese Special Select Basil Genovese Special Select basil is a combination of six basils; Cinnamon, Genovese, Tall Lemon, Lime, Mammoth and Purple Petra. This is a wonderful blend of basil’s and compliments both main dishes and desserts very nicely. Goddess Basil Goddess basil has bright green, tiny leaves that are full of flavor. This basil is very spicy and considered a gourmet basil. It goes great in pasta sauces, chili and Mexican dishes.
Grandi Foglie Valentino Particularly appreciated for its compact growth, forming small uniform bush and its fine leaves, large, crinkly and drooping, bright green and with a strong aroma without mintiness. Vigorous, compact plant. Perfect for use in dressings and sauces.
Greek Basil Greek basil is a dwarf plant this species of basil is also classified as a gourmet basil and loved by chefs! It has a strong flavor so only a small amount is needed, it tastes great in any dish.
Green Ruffles Basil Green Ruffles basil is commonly called just “Green Ruffles” the basils leaves are ruffled almost like lettuce. This basil has a rich flavor is perfect for pasta dishes. It has a mild smell and with delicate ruffle leaves, it makes for a very good garden plant.
Holy Nicobar Green leaf, purple stem, Asian origin, clove scent, use for shellfish/meat flavoring, uniquely tasty.
Holy Red-Green Basil Holy Red-Green basil is also called “Holly Green, Tulsi basil and Indian Sacred Basil” this basil has a very strong flavor and scent and is favored by gourmet cooks all around the world. It is a great basil for Thai dishes. A basil for gourmet cooks with a strong scent, green leaf. This basil is used in stir fry. Combined together with garlic, fresh chilies and fish sauce, it gives a wonderful flavor to any meat or seafood.
Italian Large Leaf Basil Italian Large Leaf basil is an Italian cook’s favorite basil. This basil is full of flavor and sweeter than most basil, it’s a perfect ingredient for pasta sauce or any Italian dish. Italian Large leaf Basil is a sweet type basil for making Italian dishes, pesto and flavoring vegetables, poultry and fish. It grows to over 2′ tall and has large leaves. You can even replace Italian Large Leaf Basil for lettuce on sandwiches!
Italiano Classico Basil Italiano Classico basil is a favored basil in Italy. This classic blend is made of primary Genova basil with a hint of sweet basil. This basil is a favorite for making pesto.
Lemon Basil Lemon basil is one of the most popular basils. It comes in all shapes and sizes. All lemon basil has both a lemon flavor and scent, some varieties are more potent than others. Lemon basil goes well with any fish or seafood dish, dessert and pasta sauce if you like a tangy kick in your sauce.
Lemon Lime Basil Blend This Blend is sold with two different seeds in one package. Has a freshly citrus scented and is mild enough for flavoring grilled fish or shrimp salad. Pasta dishes with vegetables and chicken are delicious with the tasty citrus based basil. Lemon Lime basil is an essential basil for anyone comtemplating cooking with basil.
Lettuce Leaf Basil Lettuce Leaf basil as you can see by the photograph has a strong resembles to lettuce, hence the name Lettuce Leaf basil. The leaves are fragrant and the flavor is semi-mild with a spicy, clover-like flavor making this basil great for pesto. Popular seasoning for tomato dishes, soups, salads, fish and poultry. Lettuce Leaf Basil earns its name with big, slightly serrated and crinkled leaves up to 4 inches wide and 6 inches long.
Licorice Basil Licorice basil is not only a beautiful plant when the flowers bloom it has a wonderful scent. There are a few different varieties of Licorice basil and it is also known as “Anise Licorice basil” but it is not the same as Anise basil. This basil does indeed have a licorice flavor to it and is popular in desserts and beverages.
Lime Basil Lime basil has a strong scent and taste. This basil is fantastic in desserts, beverages, fish dishes and salad dressings and oils. It also works wonders for living up the taste of several other dishes including poultry, and vegetables.
Limelight Basil Limelight basil is as beautiful to look at as it is to taste. This unique basil is all the rave in the culinary world! Limelight basil is perfect for every dish, including main entrees, vegetables, casseroles, desserts, breads, soups and beverages.
Mammoth Basil Mammoth basil gets its name from the “mammoth” size leafs it produces. It is the largest leaf basil of all varieties. The leaves can be green or purple. Mammoth basil is very popular and sometimes stores are sold out of the plants especially in the off season.
Marseillais Dwarf Basil Marseillais Dwarf basil is a compact basil with large leaves that sport pretty little yellow and white flowers when in bloom. Marseillais dwarf basil is also known as “Marsellais, Marseille, Marseilles, Marsellais and Provence” this basil is great for all dishes but especially French cuisine.
Minette Basil Minette basil is an attractive addition for your garden with its flowing leaves it is best used as a border in the garden. It has a gently aroma and a tasty flavor. This basil can be used in pasta dishes, pesto, salads and chefs use it in a variety of dishes that call for a mild flavored basil.
Mini Purple Basil Mini Purple basil as you can see by the photograph is anything but mini! However, it is a beautiful garden plant and a flavor basil for any culinary dish. It has a nice scent and will attract bees in the garden, so you may want to keep it as a separate potted plant.
Mozzarella Basil Genovese type basil with good, dark color. Similar to Aroma but with somewhat smaller leaves. Some resistance to fusarium. Excellent for greenhouse production.
Mrs. Burns Basil Mrs. Burns Lemon basil has a very lemony scent and flavor. Has pretty pink flowers and was discover in New Mexico. Has become a best seller in the world of basil! Be careful when adding this basil to your dish it is so strong it will make your eyes water and mouth pucker.
Napolitano Basil Napolitano basil is best used in salads and will compliment any pasta dish. It has a mild sweet flavor. The leaves are tender is it is best to remove the leaves just before using them. Be gently when washing so you don’t tear or bruise them.
Persian Zing Basil Add its dark green leaves to salads for extra zest and zing, purple spikes.
Pesto Perpetuo Basil Pesto Perpetuo basil is a unique looking plant it is almost impossible to identify as a basil plant unless you are an expert. It has 3 colored leaved that makes it stand out in a crowd of plants. As the name implies it is the basil of choice for pesto.
Piccolino Basil Piccolino basil is a type of bush basil, it has small delicate leaves it has a sweet aroma and often used in numerous types of culinary dishes including soups, salads and vegetables. It is also called “piccoline” chefs use this basil with dishes the require mozzarella cheese.
Pinetree Basil Pinetree basil mix is a spicy flavored basil and favored by cooks for use in pasta dishes, and spicy dishes. It has a bit of a nutty taste as well and a slight nutty scent.
Poppy Joes Basil Genovese type, high fusarium resistance, green leaf, aromatic.
Profuma di Genova Basil Italitan grocers always keep a stand of this basil to offer shoppers a convenient supply of this fresh spicy basil. It’s neither minty tasting nor does it taste of cloves, but instead the leafy Profumo offers clean basil taste and is if compact shape.
Purple Dark Opal Basil Purple Dark Opal basil is one of the most attractive basil plants and will certainly be eye catching your garden. Glossy dark purple 2″ slightly ruffled leaf, sweet fruity taste, lilac blooms. This basil is great for salad vinegar mixes, in salads and as a garnish with any meal or dessert. It has a lovely scent and a fairly strong flavor. Also good for drying. Purple Dark Opal Basil is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow. Lots of people grow it for its beautiful decorative landscaping, but it is a culinary delight. Grow in a rich, well-drained, soil in full sun. Pinch out growing tips to encourage bushier plant.
Purple Delight Basil Purple Delight basil is very similar to Purple Dark Opal basil except the purple delight has no green at all it is strictly an all purple basil plant which makes it perfect for a garden, it certainly is easy on the eyes. This basil plant has strong leaves and is strongly scented and rich in flavor.
Purple Petra Basil Purple Petra basil is a delicate little plant with purple flowers. Handling with care is required bruised leaves are not very tasty. It has a light mint flavor with a slight basil aftertaste. Its scent is also mild. This basil plant can be planted in a garden but is best planted in a pot unless you don’t mind all your other plants smelling like mint. Purple Ruffles Basil Purple Ruffles basil has a licorice and cinnamon flavor. This basil is known to be temperamental it does not like wet weather or hot weather growing can be a challenge. However, it is certainly worth the challenge when fully grown the ruffled leaves and dark purple color make for a beautiful plant.
Purple Stem Basil Thai native, purple stems, dark green leaf, strong flavor for Asian foods, great ornamental value.
Queen of Sheba Basil Queen of Sheba basil is a summer plant it has long beautiful purple flowers and is a rather “show-off” plant for your garden. For culinary dishes it is fantastic in any dish it has a mild flavor. Many chefs have labeled the Queen of Sheba as the “Queen Basil!”
Queenette Basil Queenette basil is a Thai basil and used primary in Thai foods and spicy dishes as well as vegetable dishes. It is a beautiful garden plant with dark green leaves, purple and red flowers. It has an anise flavor and aroma.
Red Rubin Basil Red Rubin basil despite the picture is actually purple when in full bloom. This basil is also called “Red Rubin Basil”. This basil will liven up any garden with its natural beauty and scent. This basil is a sweet one and excellent for any dish that requires a sweet basil.
Red Holy Basil Red Holy basil is native to India this basil is also known as ” Ram Tulsi and Green Holy Basil” it is a lovely plant with both green and purple leaves. The people of India believe this basil is a great source of protection and plant it near their front doors and in public places before an important event. It can also be used in any culinary dish. Red Osmin Basil Red Osmin basil is a pretty plant with ruffled edges and two toned purple colors making a great plant for the garden or as a potted plant on the patio. This basil can be used in any culinary dish it has a sweet mild taste and flavor and it taste great in a salad.
Serata Basil Serata basil has a ruffled almost lettuce leaf look to it. The leaves do not change to a purplish color like many of the other basils this one remains green which makes it a great border for your garden. It is a great basil for an culinary dish.
Siam Queen Thai Basil The bright green leaves make an attractive background for the purple-red stems with violet-pink flowers. The large plants mean more intense liquorice fragrance. Thai Basil is known for its peppery zing and has a sweetness of licorice and anise flavor. This basil will also retain it’s flavors when cooked, unlike other basils. Growing Thai Basil can be successful indoors and outdoors as long as there is plenty of sunshine. It like to be liberally watered and must be planted in well-irrigated soil so it will not have soggy feet!
Super Sweet Chen Basil Super Sweet Chen basil is a tender plant so care must be taken when handling. It is an all green type of basil and can be used as a border for your garden or planted in pots. This basil produces large leaves and is a favorite for Italian dishes.
Superbo Basil Superbo basil is an Italian basil used in pesto, pasta sauces, beef, chicken, dips, dressings, fish, and Vegetables (cooked & raw.) The leaves are hardy and durable. This basil has a pleasant slightly spicy taste and aroma.
Sweet Dani Basil Sweet Dani basil has sweet lemon flavor and fragrance. It is loved by cooks and professional chefs every where. It can be used in any culinary dish, dessert or beverage. It is often used in lemony beverages and adds a great flavor to homemade lemonade!
Sweet Genovese Basil Sweet Genovese basil is one of the most common basils used by cooks. It also makes a wonderful garden border for your more colorful plants. Culinary uses are anything from A-Z that require basil. It taste great sprinkled on buttered carrots!
Thai Magic Basil Thai Magic basil is also known as “Sweet Thai basil and Oriental basil” this basil produces large leaves and stems and flowers late allowing more time and use for the basil. It is used in Thai dishes and any dish that requires a sweet taste. It has a nice red flower and looks nice in the garden once the flowers have bloomed.
Veseys Blend Basil Veseys Blend basil is a unique blend of assorted basils, Veseyes is a private label. There is a mixture of sweet and spicy basil and purple and green plants. It is a beautiful plant for any garden. It has a wonderful mixed scent and is a great basil for any culinary dish.
Vietnamese Hun Que Basil Hun Que basil is also known as “Vietnamese basil and Horapha Hun Que Basil” this plant has an anise flavor and scent. It is loved by chefs around the world for many culinary dishes especially Vietnamese dishes. This basil is also a perfect fit for vegetables and pasta dishes.
Violetta Aromatico Basil Violetta Aromatico basil is a green and purple plant and looks great in the garden, it can be started in a pot and transfer it grows quite large. It is suitable for all culinary dishes with its moderate flavor and scent.