Sweet basil
Dark opal basil
Scientific Classification
Species: Ocimum basilicum
Plant Data
Min germination temp: 10°C (50°F)
Max germination temp: 15°C (59°F)
Germination time: 7 days
Time to transplanting: +60 days
Time to harvesting: +40 days
Mature height: 45cm (18in)
Mature spread: 30cm (12in)
Ideal pH range: 6.0 - 7.5
Sow depth: ⅓cm (⅛in)
Sow spacing: 1cm (½in)
Growing plant spacing: 25cm (9in)
Growing row spacing: 25cm (9in)
References: [1][2]

Dark opal basil is a cultivar of Ocimum basilicum (sweet basil), developed at the University of Connecticut in the 1950s. With deep purple, sometimes mottled leaves, it is grown as much for its decorative appeal as for its culinary value. Dark opal basil was a 1962 winner of the All-American Selection award.[3]

Like other purple basils, the purple color is from anthocyanins, especially cyanidin-3-(di-p-coumarylglucoside)-5-glucoside but also other cyanidin based and peonidin based compounds. 'Dark opal', along with other large leaved purple cultivars such as Purple ruffles basil, has a high concentration of anthocyanins and is considered a potential source of red pigments for the food industry. The anthocyanin concentration is about 18mg per 100g fresh leaves, similar to Perilla frutescens, and greater than smaller leaved purple basils such as Purple bush basil (at about 6 mg per 100 g).[4]


Main article: Basil


Full troubles list: Mint troubles


  1. Basil 'Dark Opal'. myfolia. Retrieved: 2010-09-02.
  2. Basil. myfolia. Retrieved: 2010-08-27.
  3. Gardner, J.A. (2005). Herbs in Bloom: A Guide to Growing Herbs as Ornamental Plants. ISBN 9780881926989. p. 218.
  4. Janick, J.; (ed.)Simon, J.E.; Morales, M.R.; Phippen, W.B.; Vieira, R.F.; Hao, Z. (1999). Basil: A Source of Aroma Compounds and a Popular Culinary and Ornamental Herb, reprinted from: Perspectives on new crops and new uses, ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA, ISBN 978-0961502706.
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v  d  e
Basil varieties
O. americanum American basil · Lime basil
O. basilicum Cinnamon basil · Dark opal basil · Fino verde basil · Genovese basil · Lettuce leaf basil · Magical Michael · Mammoth basil · Mrs. Burns lemon basil · Nufar basil · Osmin purple basil · Purple ruffles basil · Red rubin basil · Spicy globe basil · Sweet basil · Thai basil
O. gratissimum African basil
O. tenuiflorum Holy basil
Hybrid basils African blue basil · Lemon basil

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