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Basil varieties have recently been of interest not only to gardeners or gourmets, but also to landscape designers. In the State Register, you can find an extensive list, where the originators are agro-industrial and seed-growing companies, rarely - institutes or breeders on their own behalf. And none of them attach any importance to the basis on which species - annual or perennial varieties of basil are derived.
This is due to the fact that the culture is extremely thermophilic and perishes even with a short-term decrease in temperature. There is no point in covering it or planting it in heated greenhouses - basil multiplies well and gives a rich harvest of spicy greens in a season.
There is no official classification of the basil today, but if new varieties appear over and over again, it will soon appear. Now the culture is divided according to the size and color of the leaves, aroma or other characteristics for convenience.
Often on the Internet you can find the wrong use of the word "species", which denotes different variations (features) of the same plant. Meanwhile, this is a rigid category, the main structural unit in the biological systematics of living organisms. There are criteria by which scientists distinguish one species from another. They also determine his belonging to a particular genus.
What people who are far from biology call a species is a variety, it can be a variety, a hybrid, even a plant of another genus or family. It was the same with the basil. Here, they mixed everything in a bunch - varieties, species, varieties, grouping external signs by color or size of leaves, smell ... The area of application in cooking was not even ignored.
Basil types from which most garden varieties come:
- fragrant (garden), which is also called vegetable, became the progenitor of almost all varieties used in the kitchen;
- mint-leaved (camphor) is a raw material for medicines;
- fine-colored (tulasi) is used in Ayurveda, for Hindus - the second in rank (after lotus) sacred plant, used in medicine and cooking;
- eugenol, the main value of which is the high content of essential oils in the leaves, is a raw material for the production of spices and is used in medicine.
When creating new varieties of basil, first of all pay attention to the smell. The area of its application in cooking often depends on what kind of aroma the plant has. For example, varieties that smell of anise or lemon are suitable for fish dishes, pepper or cloves for fish dishes. In a mixture with other spices, complex aromas are created, different for each national cuisine.
Basil can have a smell:
Culture has two basic colors: green and purple. Within their framework, the color varies very much, it can be delicate, rich, varieties with variegated leaves are often found.
Green basil is believed to have a delicate flavor and aroma due to its moderate essential oil content. It is more typical of European cuisine. Green basil is often called sweet. It is usually used fresh and frozen. No one forbids drying green leaves, but most essential oils evaporate, and the aroma becomes very weak.
Purple varieties are more common in oriental cuisines. They contain 1.5-2 times more essential oils than green ones, which makes the taste harsh and the aroma strong. When the leaves are dried, the smell persists.
The vast majority of basil varieties used in cooking are based on one type - fragrant (garden, vegetable). Many of them were bred by Russian breeders and entered into the State Register.
In 2003, Agrofirma Poisk LLC from the Moscow region submitted an application for the inclusion of the Ararat vegetable basil variety in the State Register. It was registered in 2004 and recommended for cultivation in all regions of Russia. Since then, the variety has become one of the most popular and often grown in the post-Soviet space.
Ararat is considered mid-season and blooms about 71 days after germination. This is considered a ripening period as the plant accumulates enough essential oils to be cut for drying.
Variety Ararat forms an erect semi-spreading shrub about 60 cm high. The broadly ovate petiole leaves with edges speckled with sparse denticles are of medium size, greenish-purple in color and have a strong aniseed odor. The flowers are lilac.
From a square meter, 2-2.4 kg of green mass are harvested, one plant weighs 25-35 g. This variety of purple basil is well suited for drying for the winter.
Agrotechnics of cultivation of the Ararat Basil
The purple basil variety Ararat is grown through seedlings. Seeds are sown in late March or early April to a depth of about 0.5-1 cm, dive in the phase of two true leaves. After about a week, they feed the first time, after another 10-14 days - the second. Pinch the Ararat variety when 6-8 true leaves appear. At the age of 25 days, young plants can be planted in the ground.
The variety of vegetable (fragrant) basil Baku Yard is the newest. At the end of 2017, Agrofirma Aelita LLC, registered in the Moscow region, submitted an application. In 2018, the variety was accepted by the State Register and approved for cultivation in all Russian regions.
Baku courtyard is an early ripe basil, 42-47 days pass from the moment of emergence to the beginning of flowering. Forms a bush of medium height with small ovoid anthocyanin leaves, the waviness of which is poorly expressed, and dark purple flowers. Has a clove scent. The yield per square meter is 2.2-2.5 kg, the weight of one plant is 300-400 g.
LLC "Gavrish Breeding Firm" has created a vegetable basil Basilisk, which was adopted by the State Register in 2003. It can be grown throughout Russia.
This is an early ripening variety, 46-50 days pass from germination to flowering. Forms a compact, undersized bush with straight, raised shoots up to 20 cm high. Numerous small leaves are ovoid, smooth, green. The flowers are white, the aroma is clove-pepper. Basilisk can be grown as a pot crop, its yield is up to 700 g / sq. m.
One of the best varieties of basil is Genovese, which is also called Genoese or Italian. It has an aniseed scent and is an essential ingredient in pesto sauce. Used to make tea and lemonade. Genovese grows up to 45-60 cm and is often planted in pots. The variety is distinguished by soft green leaves of medium size, elongated-oval in shape with small teeth. The flowers are white. The mass of one plant is 25-38 g.
Genovese is one of the most common varieties with green leaves.
Basil Clove was created by the Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution "Federal Scientific Center for Vegetable Growing", the author is Khomyakova E. M. The variety was adopted by the State Register in 1996 and approved for cultivation in all regions.
Clove is a compact, medium-sized bush with dense foliage up to 35 cm high, suitable for growing in a pot culture. The variety has a pungent clove-aniseed aroma. The stem is green with a purple tint. The leaves are large, wrinkled, with pronounced denticles, colored green. Clove belongs to the early varieties.
The fragrant Yerevan basil was created by “Agrofirm Aelita” LLC and is intended for cultivation in all regions. The variety was accepted by the State Register in 2013, a patent was issued for it, which expires in 2043.
Yerevan violet reaches bloom in 45 days. Forms a shrub up to 40 cm high, with medium-sized lilac ovoid leaves and pink flowers. The aroma is peppery-clove. The weight of the green mass per plant is 300-500 g, the yield is 2.1-2.6 kg / sq. m.
Basil Caramel is included in the State Register in 2000, the originator is the Federal Scientific Center for Vegetable Growing, the author of the variety E. Khomyakova. Zone of admission - all regions.
This is a mid-season variety that can be grown not only through seedlings, but also by sowing in the ground. Caramel Basil forms a sprawling, medium-sized bush. The leaves are dark green, with a gray tint, smooth, medium in size. The stem is whitish, the inflorescences have a purple tint. Prized for its caramel-fruity aroma and high yield. This basil gives from 2.7 to 3.3 kg of green mass per square meter.
Red or Dark Opal
Dark Opal variety was bred in the middle of the last century by American breeders. For some reason they call it red in Russia, although the leaves of this basil are actually purple. Due to its attractive appearance, it has been widely used not only in cooking, but also in landscape design. Blooms in 40-45 days after the emergence of mass shoots.
Basil Dark Opal grows to a height of 30-40 cm, can be used in a pot culture. Differs in raised shoots and beautiful ovoid purple leaves and flowers. It gained popularity all over the world for its rich peppery-clove scent.
The Lemon Chudo variety, created by Agrofirma Aelita LLC, was adopted by the State Register in 2014. This basil has been issued a protective patent, which will be valid until 2044. Recommended for cultivation in all regions.
The variety comes to maturity 45-53 days after the emergence of mass shoots. Forms a medium-sized shrub with medium-sized raised green leaves on a short petiole. The edge of the elliptical plate is slightly bubbly, the flowers are pink, the aroma is mint-lemon. Each plant weighs 300-320 g per sq. m you can collect 2-2.3 kg of green mass.
Basil spherical Perfume
A unique highly branching variety of Basil Perfume forms a spherical bush with a diameter of 30-35 cm without pruning. Can decorate a decorative garden in the French style, is planted in flower beds and as a border. Grown as a pot culture.
Of interest is not only the appearance of the basil, but also its aroma, which tasters assessed as spicy and perfumery with mulled wine notes. The leaves are very small, green. It is considered one of the best varieties for flavoring olive oil.
The Dutch variety Rosie's basil was included in the State Register on the initiative of the originator - the seed campaign Enza Zaden. Date of inclusion - 2010 Rosie basil is recommended for cultivation throughout the territory of the Russian Federation.
This vegetable variety reaches ripeness 38 days after full germination and is considered medium early.
Rosie's Basil is medium-sized, erect. Each rosette contains 4 bladder leaves of medium size, epileptic in shape, purple in color with darker flowers. Plants of this variety are one-dimensional, weighing 210 g each, per sq. meters harvested 2.2 kg of green mass.
In addition to the various varieties of the Fragrant Basil, which is usually called Garden or Vegetable, two more types have become widespread in cooking - Tulasi and Evengolny.
Holy Basil Tulasi
Basil Fine or Sacred is a separate species. In Ayurveda, it is one of the main medicinal plants. In Hinduism, the tulasi tree is an object of religious worship, it is considered the earthly incarnation (avatar) of the goddess Lakshmi. In Thailand, thin-colored basil is called kaphrao and is widely used in cooking.
From a biological point of view, tulasi is a perennial herbaceous shrub with a height of 30-60 cm, which can be easily distinguished from other types of basil by its pubescent leaves, petioles and stems. Within a taxon, there are two varieties:
- Shyama (Krishna) tulasi, which, in fact, is the object of worship of the Hindus, with stems and leaves of lilac-purple color and pink flowers:
- Rama tulasi with white flowers and green vegetative organs.
Leaves on short petioles in the form of an elongated oval reach 5 cm in length, with sparse denticles along the edge, completely covered with soft hairs. Two-lipped flowers are collected in false whorls. The taste of the leaves of this basil is reminiscent of cloves (spice).
In regions cooler than India, it is cultivated as an annual crop. It can be kept as a houseplant with a lifespan of up to 5 years.
Basil Eugenol is an independent species, even more thermophilic than Vegetable. It is a herbaceous shrub with a pyramidal crown, branched, 0.7-1.5 m high. The stems and leaves are covered with hairs, of which a small part is glandular. Essential oils with a pronounced clove aroma flow through them.
The central stem, stiffening at the base, and the branches of the eugenol basil have a tetrahedral cross-section. Large, green, 10-15 cm long oblong-ovate toothed leaves are located oppositely on petioles 4-5 cm.
The branchy fibrous root reaches a length of 80 cm. Collected in whorls, bell-shaped, off-white flowers appear in August, by September the seeds are already ripe.
Eugenol basil is used in cooking due to its bitter taste and strong aroma of pepper and cloves. But the plant is more widely used in medicine and cosmetology, as it contains a lot of essential oils.
Basil varieties for the middle lane
In fact, all the varieties of vegetable basil described above are grown in the middle lane. You don't even have to choose varieties in which less time passes from the moment of emergence to the beginning of flowering. Basil does not bear fruit, or rather, its fruits are not of interest to gardeners, unless someone decided to stock up on their own seeds.
Young leaves and shoots are used for fresh consumption, freezing and canning, well-ripened green mass is cut off at the very beginning of flowering for drying. So in the Middle Lane, you can harvest even late varieties if you grow them through seedlings.
Important! Sowing crops in the ground is not recommended.
In addition to those listed above, in the Middle lane and the Moscow region, you can grow varieties of vegetable basil:
- The Dragon;
- Green aromatic;
- Russian giant purple;
- Pepper flavor;
Tulsi basil, like Evenol, is less adapted to temperate climates than vegetable basil. But it is quite possible to grow them there.
Basil varieties are varied, numerous, and differ greatly in smell or appearance. They can decorate not only a table, but also a front garden, a flower bed. If you grow basil through seedlings, then the harvest can be harvested even in the northern regions.