Martha's exotic Backyard in Israel

Ocimum basilicum, Sweet basil, Holy basil,
Sacred basil, בזיליקום, ריחן, الريحان

Scientific name:  Ocimum basilicum L.
Common name:  Sweet basil, Holy basil, Sacred basil
Hebrew name:   (rehan) בזיליקום, ריחן
Arabic name:  al-raihan, الريحان
Family:  Labiatae / Lamiaceae, Mint Family, שפתניים

Ocimum basilicum,Sweet basil, Holy basil, Sacred basil, בזיליקום, ריחן, الريحان

Life form:  Annual
Stems:  Up to 75cm tall, 4-angled, glabrous or sparsely hairy, branching, herbaceous, strongly aromatic
Leaves:  Opposite, simple, ovate to oblong-ovate, entire or slightly toothed margin
Inflorescence:  Whorld flowers in a terminal spike
Flowers:  Hermaphrodite; bilabiate (two-lipped) (Botany), small white
Fruits / pods:  Nutlets, smooth or somewhat rugose
Flowering Period:  August, September
Habitat:  warm and moist
Distribution:  cultivated
Chorotype:  native to India

Flowers, Israel, send flowers online


Derivation of the botanical name:
Ocimum, Greek okimon used by Theophrastus (370 — ca. 285 BCE), and Dioscorides (ca. 40 - ca. 90) and Galenus (129 – 199/217 CE) for an aromatic herb, basil. Latin ocimum (Plinius) for a herb which serves for fodder.
basilicum, basileus Greek βασιλεύς, royal or king, because of the royal fragrance of this herb; related word basilica Basiliké Stoà, Royal Stoa, the tribunal of a king.
Names like German Königskraut and Dutch koningskruid “king’s herb” are probably calqued from the Greek name.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
BIBLICAL REFERENCES:
  • Ocimum basilicum is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but it is thought to have been known to the ancient Israelites.
QURANIC REFERENCES:
  • Surat Ar-Rahman, 55th sura, Verse 12, 13: Therein are fruits, date-palms producing sheathed fruit-stalks (enclosing dates). And also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-scented plants.
  • Surat Al-Waqi‘a, 56th sura, Verse 88, 89: Thus, then, if he be of those Nearest to Allah, (there is for him) rest and satisfaction and a Garden of Delight.

Ocimum basilicum,Sweet basil, Holy basil, Sacred basil, בזיליקום, ריחן, الريحان


Ocimum basilicum,Sweet basil, Holy basil, Sacred basil, בזיליקום, ריחן, الريحان