Native perennial of hedgerows and scrub.
It is common in England
but becoming rarer in Scotland
grassland, scrub, hedgerows and edge of woodland; dry, alkaline
soils; sunny site.
height 60cm; hairy, slightly aromatic leaves; pale, purply pink
flowers between July and September.
In ancient times, wild basil was believed to have the power to
repel serpents. In mediaeval
times, basil was mixed with the rushes that were strewn on the floors.
It was included in posies by officials to protect themselves from
unpleasant smells and the diseases they believed were carried by them.
It has been used in medicine and cookery - it smells faintly like
thyme, especially when bruised.
It is very attractive to butterflies which seek the nectar in its
Sowing Instructions for Seeds:
Easy! Sow seed in
spring in a greenhouse or cold frame. When the seedlings are large
enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots.
Plant the seedlings out into their final position in summer.
plants and seeds are of native British origin.