Basil, Siam Queen

'Siam Queen' basil is a variety that has large flowers that form in a cluster as opposed to the long spikes on other basils. 'Siam Queen' or 'Thai' basil can grow in areas that get 4-5 hours of sun per day. A vigorous grower, the plants can get very large, so give it lot's of room. Both the blooms and the leaves are edible, though some will claim it's flavor is best when blooms are pinched.

Blooms lovely lavender-pink flowers most all summer, if allowed too. An aromatic foliage that could be used in floral/ herbal kitchen wreaths.

The scent and taste of 'Siam Queen' basil is different from sweet basil with more licorice flavor. Asian, middle eastern and Thai cuisine, all have recipes using Siam Queen. Chicken with either red or green curry is a traditional dish. Both use about a cup of fresh Thai basil & cilantro. Vietnamese call it "Hung Que" and eat it raw in Pho, or noodle soup. More info @ thaifood.about.com/od/thaicurrypaste

Thai basil, Siam Queen and Hung Que are all names describing the same hybrid variety. Treat as a tender annual, typically freezes back and dies. New starter plants are usually planted after last winter seasons frost. New starter plants are 'garden ready' to plant at most nursery centers in the early spring.

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