(60 days) Open-pollinated. Lends its distinctly strong licorice-anise basil flavor to Thai food. An attractive 12–18" fine-leaved plant with purple stems, seed heads and flowers. Good container plant as well. ②
to start or resume an order
~600 seeds/g. Indispensable culinary herb, in cultivation for more than 3,000 years. By far our most popular herb, the various kinds selling more than 11,000 packets in 2020.
Culture: Direct seed when soil warms in late spring or transplant after danger of frost in well-drained moderately rich soil. Young seedlings will damp off if heavily watered during cool cloudy weather. Water sparingly at first. Use row covers to enhance early season vigor and speed maturity. Thin to 8–12", top mature plants to induce branching and increase total yield. Harvest before plants blossom. Annual, absolutely intolerant of frost, damaged by temperatures in the mid-30s.
Diseases: Where so indicated our varieties have been sampled and found to be fusarium-free. While not a guarantee that the entire lot is fusarium-free, a negative test improves the odds. No samples were taken for varieties not so indicated.
See Herb Chart in the sidebar for uses and cultural information.
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neanderthals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
Takinagawa Burdock and Resina Calendula, as well as oats, mammoth red clover and alfalfa in the Farm Seed section, also have medicinal uses. Medicinal herbs such as black cohosh, goldenseal, and many more are available as plants, and shipped in the spring with orders from our Trees division.
Using herbs: Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year. To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
Culture: Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica, and these become available in August or September.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.