This is an interesting herb used in Thai cooking. I spent a great deal of time trying to look for its name and finally managed to get it from a Thai gentleman. It is known as "Yeera" in Thai and the scientific name is Ocimum gratissimum . Its other names include krapow yuan, horapaa chang as well as shrubby basil (English). I had earlier mistaken it for Elsholtzia ciliata cos the pictures on line look so similar.
It has an interesting and unique minty fragrance and is used in fried meat dishes. I am sure it can be used raw so i would like to try using it to wrap some fish meat together with basil. I think it'll be a perfect combination.
It does look like some weed growing in somebody's backyard except for the strong fragrance when the leaves are rubbed.
To grow this herb, you can either use the seeds or stick some cuttings into the ground (like growing basil).
This is the common Thai Basil, Ocimum basilicumvar. thyrsiflorum . Widely used in many Thai, Viet and Indo-china dishes. The stalk of this variety turns purple when grown in full sun.
This is Ocimum sanctumThai Holy Basil, known in Thailand as "Krapow". Although it is suppose to be the same plant as Tulsi (Indian Holy Basil), the fragrance of the Thai variety is much stronger and the leaves are much bigger.
This is purple basil, O. basilicum 'Purple Ruffles'. Bought this plant from Far East Flora. It's fragrance is very similar to the common Thai Basil.