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Wild basil

Clinopodium vulgare

Clinopodium vulgare

Coming this summer!
Regular price $6.48 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.48 USD
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Sun/shade: Full sun to full shade

Soil moisture: Dry to wet

Height: 2'

Spread: 1'

Flowering period: July

Wild basil’s small pink flowers offer a charming dash of color to partially shaded gardens in midsummer. Although the plant also grows well in full sun, its adaptability for shadier spots makes it especially useful for the gardener. Woodland gardens often undergo a midsummer lull of blooms, and wild basil is well suited to fill this niche. The plant produces just a few flowers at a time, but when a colony of stems is present the overall effect is quite pleasing. And it is easy to achieve a sizeable patch of wild basil because it spreads readily via both seed and rhizome. Due to this spreading habit and the modest number of blooms per plant, wild basil is best utilized in a naturalized rather than formal garden. In such places, the short-statured wild basil functions well as a border or as an option for filling in bare areas. Pairing with honewort adds a white-flowered accent to the midsummer palette and balances the wild basil with a plant of similar size and growing habits.

Wild basil grows well in soils ranging from moderately wet to moderately dry, and it occurs in a variety of natural environments including forests, meadows, and rock outcrops. In terms of wildlife value, wild basil attracts both short and long-tongued pollinators, including sweat bees, metallic green sweat bees, bumble bees, and skippers. Due to the plant’s mildly aromatic foliage, it is unpalatable to deer and rabbits and is rarely browsed.

Photo by Julie Slater.

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