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Non-GMO, Heirloom Dark Opal Basil Herb Seed from True Leaf Market. Ocimum basilicum x purpurascens. As basil has many different varieties, Dark Opal Basil Herb is a striking heirloom that was grown during the 1950s at the University of Connecticut. With smooth burgundy-colored leaves, Dark Opal Basil gives off a bold aroma that"s a blend between licorice, mint, ginger and sweet tea.
**Note: This seed varies widely in color, please be aware that the percentages of green and purple vary from lot to lot and is in no way consistent.**
Non-GMO Dark Opal Basil (Ocimum basilicum x purpurascens) can reach 12-18" tall as compact bush plants. As late summer to early fall approaches, Dark Opal Basil develops smooth leaves that blend colors of silver dark-green and purple foliage"giving off a bold licorice scent. These striking herbs reach their ideal harvesting before they bloom their light-pink flowers. As sweet basil varieties range widely in flavor, Dark Opal Basil is described to provide hints of ginger, tea, mint and anise. This active basil crop will bloom until the first frost arrives. Dark Opal Basil is also great for decorative planting or around the borders of your garden, as they attract beneficial pollinators.
Basil in general, is an ultimate hybrid herb with a lot of different strains. As basil is also ancient and has been crossbred overtime, it becomes a challenge for gardeners to pin down a single origin. Basil can be classified as either sweet or non-sweet. The more popular types are considered sweet. For example, a cultivar that isn't sweet would be clove basil. However, some sources often describe notes of clove as being "“sweet", making basil a unique and diverse herb difficult to categorize.
Beverage Uses for Dark Opal Basil Herb Seed
This type of basil can be made into a sweet tea, as Dark Opal Basil contains anthocyanins"a pigment compound that helps with inflammation. Even though this variety provides a bold licorice scent, the burgundy-colored leaves also contain hints of mint that compliment ginger, making Dark Opal Basil ideal for purple mojitos. You can also garnish drinks with the anise-flavored sprigs or light-pink flowers of this striking herb. Fruit-infused beverages such as basil lemonade are also made from Dark Opal leaves.
Culinary Uses for Dark Opal Basil Herb Seed
As an heirloom variety that provides a unique flavor blend between sweet and aromatic licorice, Dark Opal Basil is an herb that compliments sweet, spicy and savory dishes. You can cook this basil to be part of a sauce, such as a marinara or blend it up as a purple pesto. Dark Opal Basil is a popular herb that"s often used to infuse vinegars"as its purple-pigmented leaves provide a bold color.
Benefits of Growing Dark Opal Basil Herb Seed
As a late summer to early fall crop, active heirloom basil plants will not only add to the overall aroma, but purple basil can also repel unwanted pests such as mosquitoes and help relieve bug bites. Dark Opal Basil crops also contain high amounts of vitamin K, antioxidants and anthocyanins"all of which help as medicinal remedies that aid digestion, blood health and protect your overall immune system.
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