The basil plant is also known as sweet basil. It's a very aromatic and popular herb belonging to the mint family. It's a small, bushy annual or short-term perennial with square stems and dark green leaves.
The leaves are very tasty with a strong and warm clove-like flavour and fragrance.
The small, white flowers are arranged in whorls.
The sweet basil herb is native to India and Asia.
The plant is commonly known and used for culinary purposes, and in the making of schnapps and liqueurs.
There are more than sixty different varieties of basil, differing in size, shape and colour of the leaves.
Each has its own distinct flavour with hints of jasmine, clove, thyme, lemon, cinnamon or anise.
Basil is one of the ingredients in the French liqueur Chartreuse, and a very important ingredient in the popular Provençal Soupe au Pistou.
The basil plant is also used in medicine, herbal remedies and dietary supplements - and to flavour oils, soaps and perfumes.