Sweet Basil

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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[[Image:sweetbasil.jpeg|thumb|right|Sweet Basil]] [[Image:sweetbasil.jpeg|thumb|right|Sweet Basil]]
-'''Common Name:''' Sweet Basil<ref>This article is based on Peggy Cornett, CHP Information Sheet.</ref>+'''Common Name:''' Sweet Basil<ref>This article is based on a Center for Historic Plants Information Sheet.</ref>
'''Scientific Name:''' ''Ocimum basilicum'' '''Scientific Name:''' ''Ocimum basilicum''
-'''Description:''' Tender annual herb; Aromatic, edible foliage and white flowers in terminal spikes on the branches+[[Thomas Jefferson|Thomas Jefferson’s]] neighbor, George Divers of Farmington, noted that he was not able to supply Jefferson with the pot-herbs "[[Sweet Marjoram|Sweet marjoram]], sweet basil, or summer savory" in a letter written in February 1820.<ref>20 February 1820. [[Short Title List|Betts, ''Garden Book'']], 591.</ref>
-'''Size:''' Grows 2 to 3 feet high; bushy habit+''Ocimum'' was the Greek word for the aromatic herb called basil in English. Although native to tropical Asia, sweet basil has been cultivated for thousands of years throughout Europe with references in Britain as early as the 1400s.<ref>Alice M. Coats, [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=382 ''Flowers and their Histories''] (London: Black, 1968), 292.</ref> It was common in America by the late 1700s. [[Philadelphia]] nurseryman [[Bernard McMahon]] listed basil seed for sale on his 1810 broadsheet.
-'''Cultural Information:''' Prefers full sun to light shade and evenly moist but well-drained garden loam+This is a tender annual herb with aromatic, edible foliage and white flowers in terminal spikes on the branches.
- +
-'''Historical Notes:''' ''Ocimum'' was the Greek word for the aromatic herb called basil in English. Sweet basil has been cultivated for thousands of years throughout the Old World tropics and is also very variable, with different growth forms, colors, and aromas. The leaves are used fresh or dried as a popular and essential culinary seasoning. It was common in America by the late 1700s. [[Philadelphia]] nurseryman [[Bernard McMahon]] listed basil seed for sale on his 1810 broadsheet. [[Thomas Jefferson|Thomas Jefferson’s]] neighbor, George Divers of Farmington, noted that he was not able to supply Jefferson with the pot-herbs “[[Sweet Marjoram|Sweet marjoram]], sweet basil, or summer savory” in a letter written in February 1820.<ref>20 February 1820. [[Short Title List|Betts, ''Garden Book'']], 591.</ref> +
==Footnotes== ==Footnotes==
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[[Category:Herbs|Basil, Sweet]] [[Category:Herbs|Basil, Sweet]]
 +[[Category:Jefferson-Documented Plants|Basil, Sweet]]

Revision as of 13:56, 24 April 2009

Sweet Basil
Sweet Basil

Common Name: Sweet Basil[1]

Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum

Thomas Jefferson’s neighbor, George Divers of Farmington, noted that he was not able to supply Jefferson with the pot-herbs "Sweet marjoram, sweet basil, or summer savory" in a letter written in February 1820.[2]

Ocimum was the Greek word for the aromatic herb called basil in English. Although native to tropical Asia, sweet basil has been cultivated for thousands of years throughout Europe with references in Britain as early as the 1400s.[3] It was common in America by the late 1700s. Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon listed basil seed for sale on his 1810 broadsheet.

This is a tender annual herb with aromatic, edible foliage and white flowers in terminal spikes on the branches.

Footnotes

  1. This article is based on a Center for Historic Plants Information Sheet.
  2. 20 February 1820. Betts, Garden Book, 591.
  3. Alice M. Coats, Flowers and their Histories (London: Black, 1968), 292.

Further Sources