I bought some holy basil seeds on the internet and grew them. However, I think the shape of the leaves on my plants are more ruffled than those in the pictures I saw online.

Here are some photos of my plant (click on the image for a larger picture). Is this indeed holy basil?

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  • Not knowing anything about it, I just did a quick google image search and Wikipedia search. Not conclusive and google image covered everything from normal Italian basil to something similar to what you have. Flowers seem diagnostic? Has it flowered yet?
    – winwaed
    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:08
  • Are you familiar with Juicy Fruit gum? The crushed leaves of holy basil smell almost exactly like that.
    – Yewge
    Sep 11, 2011 at 2:54

2 Answers 2


It sure looks like Ocimum tenuiflorum, I don't have a particular reason to doubt it from those photos.

You can see this photo (click to enlarge) from the wikipedia page showing the leaves:

Holy Basil - Ocimum tenuiflorum

Source: Wikimedia commons

The leaf structure seems identical. Based on your photos and the photos from Wikipedia, I would definitely be inclined to think it is indeed what it is supposed to be.


The leaves have to be jagged and "must" be slightly ruffled. Those plants in your photo are definitely holy basil.

In Thai cooking it is used in stir fry with all kinds of meat (most popular with pork or chicken) with a little bit of chili and garlic.

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