Basil African Annual Mrihani (Ocimum basilicum)
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Group(s): Culinary Herb Seeds > ALL CULINARY HERB SEEDS > Basil Seeds

Basil, Mrihani (Ocimum basilicum), packet of 30 seeds, organic

(Mrihani Basil)
Family:  Mint (Lamiaceae)
Annual, with leaf harvest in 60 days and seed harvest in 110 days)
This is a traditional cultivar grown in Zanzibar.  The leaves are ruffled, with a strong characteristic basil smell and flavor, with undertones of fennel.  The flowers are purple.  In E African cuisine, the fresh or dried leaves are used as an ingredient in curries, stir fries, and the omipresent coconut-based sauces (yum!).  The plant is also an ingredient in handmade perfumes (manukato), often worn in a small cloth bag around the neck.  The scent is pervasive and pleasant, and is considered to be a charm against "getting hit by roots," the local terminology for bewitchment.  On a personal note, this has proven to be one of our most useful Zanzibari accessions.  The mother plants were grown by a woman named Fatima who lives in the countryside near Wete on the green island of Pemba.  When asked whether she would like a monetary gift for the seeds, she said no, "This is a gift from the heart," and held the little newspaper wrapped bundle to her chest.  When I explained that I wanted to bring the seeds to my farm in Oregon and grow them out and distribute the progeny worldwide, she gave me her permission, and said "This is a good thing!"  The love and attention she put into her plants (the photo is of her plant) was evident.  When we brought these home and grew them out, we realized that we had something special--there is no known equivalent available through seed companies anywhere.  When accessing germplasm in the tropics in order to bring new varieties to people in the temperate north, a significant and insufficiently trammeled path is to search for tropical annuals that will thrive in a short season.  Most tropical plants are perennials, and these are the ones that botanical explorers tend to concentrate on.  I did just the opposite, and tried to find short-lived plants that would grow and prosper in the temperate north.  This particular basil is probably my most significant find in this category.  Like Fatima in Pemba, I offer it to you from the heart.  The seed is organic, it is true to form, it is unique, and it is now part of the public domain.  Plant prefers full sun and regular garden soil.  Plants are midsize and may be spaced at 1 foot apart.  Grow as per any other basil.  30 Seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown

Product Details:  (sku:PBASIMRIHANI)
Your Price: $2.95 (per Packet)
Categories: ALL CULINARY HERB SEEDS, All Products (Hidden), Basil Seeds, Culinary Herb Seeds, More..
Buy a   Basil, Mrihani (Ocimum basilicum), packet of 30 seeds, organic
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