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About 35 species, including:
Ocimum is a genus of about 35 species of aromatic annual and perennial herbs and shrubs in the family Lamiaceae, mostly native to the tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World. Its best known species is the cooking herb basil, O. basilicum.
Cultivation and uses
Most culinary and ornamental basils are cultivars of Ocimum basilicum and there are many hybrids between species. Thai basil (O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora) is a common ingredient in Thai cuisine, with a strong flavour similar to aniseed, used to flavour Thai curries and stir-fries. Amazonian basil (O. campechianum) is a South American variety often utilized in ayahuasca rituals for its smell which is said to help avoid bad visions. Holy Basil or Tulsi (O. tenuiflorum) is a sacred herb in India, used in teas, healing remedies, and cosmetics. The plant is worshiped as dear to Vishnu in some sects of Vaishnavism. It is also used in Thai cooking. Lemon Basil (Ocimum × citriodorum) is a hybrid between O. americanum and O. basilicum. It is noted for its lemon flavour and used in cooking. O. centraliafricanum is valued as an indicator species for the presence of copper deposits.
- Ocimum americanum L. (tropical Africa)
- Ocimum basilicum L. – Basil, Sweet basil
- Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora – Thai basil
- Ocimum campechianum Mill. – Amazonian basil
- Ocimum centraliafricanum R.E.Fr
- Ocimum gratissimum L. – African basil
- Ocimum kilimandscharicum Baker ex Gürke – Camphor basil
- Ocimum minimum L.
- Ocimum ovatum Benth.
- Ocimum selloi Benth.
- Ocimum tenuiflorum L. – Holy Basil, Tulsi
- Ocimum × citriodorum (O. americanum × O. basilicum) – Lemon basil
- Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum 'Dark Opal' – African blue basil
Formerly placed here
- Basilicum polystachyon (L.) Moench (as O. polystachyon L.)
- Isodon inflexus (Thunb.) Kudô (as O. inflexum Thunb.)
- Frankenia salina (Molina) I.M.Johnst. (as O. salinum Molina)
- Mosla scabra (Thunb.) C.Y.Wu & H.W.Li (as O. punctulatum J.F.Gmel. and O. scabrum Thunb.)
- Orthosiphon aristatus (Blume) Miq. (as O. aristatum Blume)
- Perilla frutescens var. crispa (Thunb.) W.Deane (as O. crispum Thunb.)
- Perilla frutescens var. frutescens (as O. frutescens L.)
- Plectranthus scutellarioides (L.) R.Br. (as O. scutellarioides L.)
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|Wikispecies has information related to: Ocimum|
- "Genus: Ocimum L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-09-10. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Steele, John J. (2006). "Perfumeros and the Sacred Use of Fragrance in Amazonian Shamanism". In Jim Drobnick. The Smell Culture Reader. Berg Publishers. p. 230.
- "GRIN Species Records of Ocimum". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
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