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Thai basil facts for kids

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Thai basil
Thai basil.jpg
Early season Thai basil
Species O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora
Cultivar group Thai basil
Sweet basil is light green with wide leaves while Thai basil has purple stems and flowers and spear-like leaves
Thai basil flower
Late summer Thai basil flowers

Thai basil, or Asian basil is a type of sweet basil. It is found in Southeast Asia. Thai basil has small, narrow leaves and purple stems. The flower is a mauve (pink-purple) color. One cultivar commonly grown in the United States is 'Queen of Siam'.

Thai basil is an important ingredient in the very popular Taiwanese dish, sanbeiji (three cup chicken). Used as a condiment, a plate of raw Thai basil leaves is often served with phở (Vietnamese-style noodle soup) so each customer can season it to taste with the anise-flavored leaves.

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