Basil is closely identified with Italian cooking, although it is originally from India. The extremely aromatic leaves also have a delightful variety of flavors from the slightly lemony-mint of sweet basil to cinnamon, and licorice. Leaf colors span from rich green to deep purple, with smooth or crinkled leaves. The flowers are insignificant, but very popular with bees.
They all grow easily in warm, sunny weather as tender annuals. The leaves are commonly used in cooking, but the flower buds are also edible.