Kivumbasi Lime Basil, Ocimum canum var. ndimu (Ocimum americanum)

ocimum canum

I have got three trays of ocimum canum or th e Kivumbasi Lime basil. I cannot say for sure whether this plant is annual or perennial, please advise me! All basils are frost-sensitive that’s for sure and they do decline once the cold weather sets in. Last year I overwintered some basils (tulsi vana and a red stemmed tulsi) in the greenhouse and they are all going strong now. I believe pruning keeps them heathy, but then the bees love basil!

This basil is native to the island Unguja, in Zanzibar (off the coast of Tanzania). The plant stays small, only 30 cm and has a citrusy scent. 

Medically it was mainly used for diabetes, conjunctivitis, malaria, and headache, but the tea is generally super nice to drink. Like all scents of citrus – it is used as a mosquito repellant.

Kivumbasi Lime basil is also used in cooking.


Common Name(s): African mint, American basil, Asian basil, Hairy/Hoary basil, Wild basil

Scientific names: O. canum is synonymous with Ocimum americanum Auct., and related plants include Ocimum basilicum (sweet basil), Ocimum gratissimum (African basil), Ocimum campechianum (Amazonian basil), and Ocimum tenuiflorum/sanctum (holy basil).

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Height + Width:

Frost Hardiness: Hardy in Katoomba




Country of Origin: Eastern Cape of South Africa


Common names: African Dream Root, Undlela Ziimhlophe (White Ways/Paths), Ubulawu



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