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Posted: Dec/12/2009 12:42 AM PST
Hi everyone! I'm new here.
At first I thought it was the purple ruffles I planted. Odd, since it came up in the same place I planted a holy basil. I disregarded it as a fluke, assuming that it was just more purple ruffles (the stuff grows like crazy), but kept it in the back of my mind that it was an odd occurrence no less.
Well when it flowered last year there was no doubt. This is a holy basil with purply ruffled leaves.
Could I seriously have a hybrid on my hands?
I guess the real question isn't "what is it," but rather, "have you ever seen this before? What should I do with it?"
You will notice that the leaves appear many different colors in the pictures. It is fully iridescent. Is this normal for holy basil?
WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?!!
Posted: Dec/12/2009 8:21 AM PST
id think its a bsil use it as a basil taste a lil bit (i soo want seeds) use that to gauge --ive had holy basil but wasnt last year so no pics sorry there is i think a holy tai basil that i do have pics of if youd like to see those? think there online too crystal-biyu.deviantart.com/gallery look "from my garden" if not bug me ok?
Posted: Dec/12/2009 11:46 AM PST
Posted: Dec/12/2009 2:09 PM PST
I have sampled it and, frankly, the aroma and flavor are pleasing but nothing special compared to the more aromatic basils. There are notes of clove and overtones of citrus. The only notable features are that it grows hardy and covers alot of ground (easily 3' X 3'(4')), and--especially interesting--the young plants tend to spot green and purple like you would expect from some of the other purple cultivars, but the spotting actually evens out into a solid iridescent gold/purple/green/turqouise with all the specimens as the plants turn a few months of age (eliminating the need to weed them out). If you look really close at some of the larger leaves they are covered in bright, glittery pink spots--which unfortunately are NOT visible from a distance =(. Basically it makes a nice ornamental.
Luckily the plant is fertile but I didn't gather any seeds from the first round of hybrids. I do however have a huge stash of seeds from the original plant (the holy basil that produced the hybrid).
I would be willing to trade some seeds. Any offers?
NOTE that the plant IS IRIDESCENT (changes color in different lighting at different angles), so the colors are not as spectacular in sunlight as they are under a camera flash.
Posted: Dec/13/2009 12:31 AM PST
Looking at your latest pictures I now think it is not Basil but Red Shiso - Perilla frutescens.
Posted: Dec/13/2009 2:22 PM PST
OMG THAT'S IT!!!
Thank you so much Told2B, that makes perfect sense now. The original plant wasn't the serrated variety, and the next batch displayed the serrated phenotype very heavily, which is distinctly similar to the exuberant serration of the purple ruffles basil. A coincidence!
Although, the iridescence is still fascinating to me. I have never seen this in a plant. Why does no one else seem to notice or care? I did many google searches based around "iridescent plants" and nothing ever came back. It almost makes me a little angry.
Posted: Dec/14/2009 1:53 AM PST
Purple Shiso Perilla, Japanese Basil (Perilla frutescens)
Oriental herb with spicy scent reminiscent of cinnamon and cloves (the fresh leaves actually taste like Big Red cinnamon gum!). Popular in Japan, where it is used fresh or pickled, along with fish, rice, vegetables and soups. In Vietnam and Korea, the leaves flavor noodle soups and spring rolls. Nice purple ornamental foliage with iridescent shades. Was once used as an ornamental. Height: 30-50 cm. Full sun, part shade.