Wild Basil

Although not widespread this plant is to be found on Bepton Down.
Although not widespread this plant is to be found on Bepton Down.

 

Wild Basil (Clinopodium vulgare)

This erect, hairy, rhizomatous and usually unbranched perennial favours dry, grassy habitats such as calcareous soil. It is also to be found on banks and in scrubby areas. It is locally common in southern and eastern England but is scarce or absent in other areas of the country.

It will grow to a height of between 35 – 80 cm. The flowers are formed in the axils of the upper leaves which are ovate in shape. The blooms are in dense whorls and lack a common stalk and are produced from July until September. They are of a pinkish purple hue and have purple bracts covered in bristles. The resulting fruits are called nutlets.

The whole plant is aromatic.