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Plant Informational Database

Cinnamon Basil

Ocimum basilicum

a.k.a. Mexican Spice Basil

A short annual or perennial, widely known and cultivated for its highly aromatic leaves which are used as a spice. Cinnamon Basil is unique among basils as it leaves contain noticeable amounts of cinnamate, the same compound which gives cinnamon its distinctive smell.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.


Bushy plant growing to about 1-3ft, by 12-18" wide. The leaves of Cinnamon Basil are similar to many types of mint, rather than the characteristic leafy types seen in common basil. Stems are purple in color, with reddish veined leaves, and late in season the plant bears small lavender-white flower heads.


Not hardy to frost. Can be grown in any climate as a Summer annual, but is a perennial in frost free areas.

Growing Environment

Like typical basil's, Cinnamon basil loves full-sun and regular water. It is easily grown in a small pot and can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill. Protect from frosts, prolonged cold temperatures and cold winds. Plants thrive in warm and hot weather.


Commonly by seeds, which generally germinate within a few weeks. Cinnamon Basil can also be propagated by cuttings.


Cinnamon Basil is most popular in use as a flavoring for hot drinks and dishes that call for a cinnamon-like flavor. Can also be used like standard basil as a seasoning and spice.

Native Range

A garden variant of unknown origin.

Additional Pictures


Related Species

Mentha pulegium
Ocimum basilicum
Cinnamon Basil
Ocimum tenuiflorum
Holy Basil
Prunella vulgaris
Salvia sclarea
Clary Sage