Tulsi, Temperate — Holy Basil (Ocimum africanum) seeds, organic

(11 customer reviews)

$3.95$26.10

Family:  Mint (Lamiaceae)

Annual, harvest at 40 days and ongoing to frost.  For the purpose of seed-saving, it takes 120 days from direct-seeding to winnowing.

Note to those wishing to grow their own tulsi tea.  Unless you live in a very warm zone, are a very experienced propagator, or are particularly attached to growing the tropical-type tulsis (Krishna, Amrita, Rama and Vana) then I really council you to grow this temperate tulsi instead.  The germination is far easier, the growth faster, the productivity  greater, and the overall experience more likely to bring happiness.

(Temperate Tulsi)  The plant is a bushy annual tea basil with small leaves, purple flowers, powerfully aromatic.  This plant is of East African origin, and India is right across the way.  Among all basils (including Ocimum basilicum) in my experience, this one is the shortest season, most frost-hardy cultivar. I’ve also seen these self-seed over the seasons, which is unusual among basils.  We tested this cultivar and confirmed the eugenol marker, then ran it for genetic analysis to identify it as Ocimum africanum.  This is the holy basil my wife and I grow for ourselves to make into tea.  We find it very satisfying, with aroma most appealing.   Traditional usage (Ayurveda): stress, anxiety, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia.  Drinking tulsi tea in the morning is a fantastic way to get started.  Prepare a flat of potting soil or a fine seedbed in spring and scatter seeds on surface, then press in and keep evenly moist and warm until germination, which is rapid.  Transplant or thin to 1 foot apart.

Packet contains 50 seeds
1 g contains ~1,580 seeds
5 g contains ~7,900 seeds
10 g contains ~15,800 seeds

Certified Organically Grown

Clear

Share your thoughts!

5 out of 5 stars

11 reviews

Let us know what you think...

What others are saying

  1. mary

    Grow extra plants...

    mary

    …your friends will want some! The seeds germinated like a “chia pet” (this dates me, I know) in flats, indoors at 65F under grow lights in April. Seedlings transplanted well outside in June – most in a production plot for tea with some along the path for their sweet fragrance as one brushes against it when passing. By far the most fragrant of the three tulsis I’ve grown (Amrita and Vana being the other two) so far. It was also the only tulsi that bloomed during our short Zone 3 season. I harvested it twice when it went to flower and a third time just before the first killing frost – a great producer! This tulsi has a milder flavor than the other two tulsis when brewed as a tea, according to friends I subjected to tulsi tea tasting trials. I’ve found that a blend of the temperate tulsi and either the Amrita or Vana tulsi produces a fragrant and flavorful tea, most worthy of sharing with friends. After reading others’ comments about this tulsi reseeding, I will let a few plants go to seed next year and see if the seeds survive our cold winters and germinate in the spring. Regardless, tulsi has earned a large space in my garden.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  2. Question

    Nancy Taylor (verified owner)

    Just recieved my Ocimum africanum in the mail, very excited. Can I use it for cooking or only for making tea?

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Nancy, You can use it for tea and cooking as well.
      If using for cooking, don’t expect a deep basil aroma/taste–the tea basils are closer to using a clove than using standard basil. Richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  3. Question

    Ashley

    Are you currently shopping internationally? NZ for example.
    Thanks, Ash.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Ashley, Yes, to all countries except the EU. Richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Patricia

      Can I grow this in a pot indoors?

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Mayche Cech

      Mayche Cech

      yes, this plant is very easy to grow.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  4. Annie

    Seeds are amazing

    Annie (verified owner)

    Planted for the first time on Memorial Day. Almost every seed took which I was not expecting so I have quite a crop. So happy with the health, ease of growing and flavor of temperate tulsi.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Me, too, gotta love this plant, works best the way you did it, seeds directly to soil. r

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  5. MV Paul Worland

    Sacred tulsi

    MV Paul Worland

    About 16 years ago I bought this tulsi basil (then marketed as Rama tulsi). It has self seeded year after year. A great delight and bees love it. It makes a true medicinal honey along with ashwaganda flowers which the bees also love. Wondering if it will hybridize if I plant other basils in the garden such as Thai or genovese basil.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Paul, Yes, my apologies, this plant was misidentified in the marketplace as “Ocimum sanctum” and since it was green-stemmed, we jumped to the incorrect conclusion that it was rama tulsi. Since then we’ve learned a ton about basil nomenclature, and know now that the plant (temperate tulsi) is Ocimum africanum. It doesn’t hybridize with standard basil (Ocimum basilicum), it is a different species, and anyway we’ve never seen it cross. Richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  6. Question

    Tammie Winkler (verified owner)

    I love this plant! I had fantastic germination and I believe I’m ready to use the leaves for tea. What’s the best way to harvest? And am I to wait for flowers? Thanks (I’m still learning!)

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • MV Paul Worland

      Harvest the leaves on a waxing moon and good constellation. Very medicinal healing qualities all the way into winter in SoCal.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  7. Question

    Pyewacket

    What is the predominant flavor of this variety when used in a tisane? Krishna tastes predominantly of pepper, Rama of clove, and Vana of anise. Where does this variety fall on the flavor profiles?

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Pye,
      I would say that the Temperate Tulsi tastes like tutti-frutti. Many people really like it best!
      Richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • MV Paul Worland

      Not sure what tutti fruiti tastes like, but the variety we bought from Richo about 16 years ago has self seeded every year and is very Spicey – clove cinnamon like strong mixture of fragrant leaves……

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Lee Anne

      To me, it’s a cross between juicy fruit gum and basil. I love it. I am not a hot tea person, but I was thoroughly impressed with this. It is a good stress reliever.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  8. One person found this helpful
    mariecantu88

    Easy growing plant with a gorgeous scent

    mariecantu88 (verified owner)

    I can’t say enough good things about this tulsi. It grew beautifully in my PNW 8b herb garden (in a cool rainy summer), the bees were obsessed with its flowers (to the point where I would stagger my flower head removal so there were always at least four plants in bloom for them!), and the scent was my favorite in the garden – strong, sweet, and almost marshmallow-y. The flowers and leaves both made delicious tea and powerful tincture, and only now at the beginning of October am I thinking about taking the plants out before frost. They still look amazing and are blooming continuously though! This lovely plant has a permanent place in my herb garden now.

    (1) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Christine (verified owner)

      I have not had good fortune with my tulsi seeds in my hot, dry Mediterranean climate. Is it normal for them to drop small black poppy like seeds now?

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Christine,
      The tulsi normally keeps its seed inside the pericarp, it doesn’t uaually drop, and the seed is somewhat smaller than a poppy seed, and black. If you strip the seedhead you can rub it between your palms and you will see the real seeds.
      Richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  9. Question

    Karen (verified owner)

    I started my Ocimum africanum a bit late, so I didn’t get much harvest from it before it began to flower. I thought I’d try letting it go to seed, but now I’ve had to clear the bed. I kept all the plants. My question is — can I use the flower and seed stalks for tea?

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes!

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  10. Question

    Brock (verified owner)

    Ok so when you say Ocimum africanum, do you mean Ocimum x africanum?

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      People don’t like to see the x and in this case O. africanum is an accepted name so we’re going with that.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  11. Question

    Andrew Legge

    So the Tulsi variety that I’ve grown is O. sanctum or O. americanum, and those seem to be the varieties offered by the seed companies I buy veggie seeds from. Do you know if there is a lot of variation in the medicinal qualities of the various varieties? Thanks!

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Andrew,
      Well, what you’ve been offered is probably the so-called “Holy Basil” which has been misnomered so many times as to approach absurdity. But the plant itself is very nice. We have now identified this as “Temperate Tulsi” to try to give it a functional name, and the Latin is Ocimum africanum, not Ocimum sanctum or Ocimum americanum.
      Richo

      (2) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  12. blazej

    Great Tea Herb!

    blazej

    thank you for the seeds!

    Nice seed germination and growth. Very aromatic with a sweet note. Makes great tea when used fresh. I boil water, allow the water to cool for a few minutes then i pour the water over the herb, which has been placed in a mason jar, i cover the jar and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes. I even sometimes wait until it cools and then i have a real strong tea. I sometimes combine with fresh lemon balm as well!

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  13. One person found this helpful
    Mistie Clark

    Mistie Clark

    I am in love with this. I purchased the Lifeline Medicine packet and I am very happy that I did. The Holy Basil is by far one of my favorites. The smell is the mix of a sweet grass and fruit. Beautiful!!!

    (1) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Ingrid Mueller

      Hello. I would like to cultivate Tulsi. Since I am in Michigan is it best to wait for spring or can I begin now indoors and grow it thru the winter. Thank you.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Mayche Cech

      Mayche Cech

      Hi Ingrid, Best to start tulsi after the winter solstice. I make my main plantings starting in February. If you want an easy indoor grower, choose “Vana.” The temperate tulsi would just bolt–the temperate tulsi is best to direct seed in the spring garden. richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Nikki

      Does O. Americanum share the medicinal properties of the other varieties? It tastes exactly as you describe the Temperate variety?

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Nikki,
      Thanks for getting in touch and we can all be sorry that basil nomenclature is in such a state of disarray. O. americanum is certainly a misnomer as there are no basils at all native to the americas. But it was a name given to Ocimum africanum at one point. therefore you are right, the temperate tulsi and something you might have bought as “O. americanum” are the same plant. This is a great tea herb and easy to grow. it is not as potent as Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum), the tropical type. We just tested our Krishna tulsi to 99% germ–I recommend it to anyone who wants a truly potent holy basil and is capable of creating the conditions required for healthy propagation of the tropical tulasi. Richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

×

Login

Register

A password will be sent to your email address.

Continue as a Guest

Don't have an account? Sign Up