Is this Tulsi or “Holy” basil?

Asked August 1, 2020, 12:31 PM EDT

I have this flower growing in about 8 separate areas of a pollinator garden. This is an area that did receive indiscriminate wild flower and other seed broadcasts a couple of years ago. It is sweet, minty smelling, has fine hairs on the stem, and produces a light purple flower. I don’t remember planting it. I’ve received different opinions from humans and apps. It does not grow anywhere else on my property. But I know mints have a tendency to get out of control. One friend said it might be a hyssop. Should I pull this up before it gets out of hand?

Sussex County Delaware

1 Response

Thanks so much for your question, I have learned a lot in researching.
It sounds like it is Holy Basil which is same as Tulsi. The scientific name for the plant is Ocimum sanctum and dates back to Biblical times. It has many
medicinal properties that are explained in the following site:
ncbi.nim.nik.gov The pictures and description of plant will allow you to decide if
that is plant you are trying to identify. It is an annual here because frost will kill it.
If you are pulling out, I would love some! I had purchased some at Farmer's Market
and even though I protected pot in garage, it did not survive. Collecting the seeds
and drying them I failed to do.
Hope this helps, Karen