(Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflorum)
Thai Basil (bai horapa in Thai) sometimes called Thai Sweet basil is a highly valuable condiment in Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian cooking. Thai basil grows to about 40-50cm tall with rich green leaves on purple stems and tiped with mauve flowers.
Consumed in large quantities in Thailand, it could almost be considered a vegetable, with whole sprigs and leaves being added by the hand-full to a wide variety of dishes including stir-fries, soups, curries, and salads. Thai Basil has an intense flavour with whole leaves and the edible flowers added when preparing dishes.
Thai Basil also exhibits an Anise or Licorice flavour and is sometimes called by these names however it should not be confused with Licorice Basil which produces a far more intense licorice flavour.