Cinnamon basil

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Cinnamon basil
Cinnamon Basil Cary NC IMG 4092.jpg
Flowering cinnamon basil in late summer
SpeciesOcimum basilicum
Young cinnamon basil in late spring

Cinnamon basil is a type of basil (Ocimum basilicum). The term "cinnamon basil" can refer to a number of different varieties of basil, including as a synonym for Thai basil (O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora), as a particular cultivar of Thai basil,[1] and as a separate cultivar in its own right (i.e., O. basilicum 'Cinnamon').[2][3][4] This article discusses the latter type.


Cinnamon basil, also known as Mexican spice basil,[5] has a spicy, fragrant aroma and flavor. It contains methyl cinnamate, giving it a flavor reminiscent of cinnamon.[6] Cinnamon basil has somewhat narrow, slightly serrated, dark green, shiny leaves with reddish-purple veins, which can resemble certain types of mint, and produces small, pink flowers from July to September.[5][7][4][8] Its stems are dark purple.[9] Cinnamon basil grows to 18–30 inches tall.[3]


Cinnamon basil is an easy-to-grow herb. It requires six to eight hours of bright sunlight per day. Although it is often grown as an annual, it is a perennial in USDA plant hardiness zones 9–11. Cinnamon basil is sometimes planted near tomatoes and roses to discourage pests such as whiteflies.[4]


Cinnamon basil is used in teas and baked goods such as cookies and pies.[4][2] It is also used in pastas, salads, jellies, and vinegars.[5][7] Outside the kitchen, cinnamon basil is used in dried arrangements and as a potpourri.[7]


Cinnamon basil was taken into space by the Space Shuttle Endeavour during STS-118 and grown in an experiment in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station.[10]


  1. ^ Porter, Todd; Diane, Cu. "Victory Garden Herbs". White on Rice Couple. Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b Meyers, Michele (2003). Basil: An Herb Society of America Guide (PDF). The Herb Society of America. p. 32. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Jordi, Rebecca. "Basil". University of Florida Nassau County Extension. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Dyer, M.H. "Cinnamon Basil Plant". SFGate Home Guides. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Basil". Sunland Herbs. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  6. ^ Gernot Katzer. "Basil". Spice Pages. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
  7. ^ a b c MacKenzie, Jill (October 2007). "Growing basil". University of Minnesota Extension. Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  8. ^ McVicar, Jekka (2010). Grow Herbs. London: DK Publishing. p. 160. ISBN 9780756664275.
  9. ^ Lehnhardt, Patricia. "10 Basil Varieties and How to Use Them". Hobby Farms. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  10. ^ Naik, Nitin (30 January 2008). "A Plant Growth Chamber". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 5 April 2014.