Ocimum basilicum Genovese is an annual native to India, Africa, and Asia. One of the most popular herbs, it is now cultivated in all temperate climates throughout the world. Of all the basils to grow, and there are about 150 varieties, Genovese basil is one of the best because it yields 7 to 8 cuttings and makes the best pesto.
In Italy, it is considered a sign of love. When a woman puts out a pot of basil, it means she is ready to receive her suitor. In France, it is called herbe royale. In India, it is sacred, dedicated to Vishnu and Krishna. In Victorian times, it was sent for best wishes in nosegays called tussie-mussies.
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