Basil – Red Rubin (Ocimum basilicum ‘Purpurascens’)
An ANNUAL growing to around 70cm, it is a cultivar of Sweet Basil, and has oval dark purple leaves, reddish stems and purple flowers. Used much in the same way as common basil, it has a stronger flavour and its pretty leaf colour makes it an appealing herb to add to salads or as a fresh garnish.
Leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often paired with tomato dishes, or anything with peppers or eggplant. A refreshing tea can be made from the leaves while the seeds can be added to bread, or soaked in water to become a refreshing mucilagenous beverage.
Use as a spicy flavoured sweet basil. As an insect repelling plant it is a good plant to grow in the home. Basils are commonly planted as companions to tomatoes.