I need help identifying some plants.

enter image description here Unknown Basil 1

enter image description here Unknown Basil 2

enter image description here Potential Holy Basil 1

enter image description here Potential Holy Basil 2

I purchased these two types of basil online. They both claim to be holy basil but they are clearly two different types.

I noticed that the basil in the blue container is not hairy, which means it cannot be holy basil as that is one of the characteristics.

The basil in the red container does have the hairy characteristic, but I am not sure if the leaves are the correct colour or if it is even a basil.

I had a look at two youtube videos, but it seems basil quickly cross-pollinates and thus Ocimum tenuiflorum may change quickly and become another species, but for most of the seeds to change, I am not so sure if that is possible. I would have thought cross-pollination only result in a few seeds changing rather than most or all of them.



So, what plants am I actually growing?

EDIT: I thought the blue container might be Thai Basil, but some of the stems aren't purple...

  • 2
    Have you tried tasting them?
    – michelle
    Apr 8, 2014 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


The one in red container is the Holy Basil (called Tulsi in Hindi).

The younger stem has slightly brownish+purple color. Once it grows about a foot high you will see flowering and seed formation at the top branches. The leaves taste slightly spicy and fresh. For more information - tulsi/holybasil

If you want your Holy Basil to grow in to a large bush, i would suggest you pinch off the top leaves that will ensure lot of branching.

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