Ocimum canum Sims
Perennial, much branched, 30-60 cm. Stems with simple, retrorse or spreading, white, eglandular hairs. Leaves elliptic to ovate, 3-3 x 1-1.5 cm, subentire or finely crenulate above, acute, cuneale, glabrescent or sparsely pilose, gland-dotted on both surfaces; petiole 1-2 cm. Verticillasters 5-16, clearly separated or contiguous above, 6-10-flowered. Bracts 2-3 mm. Calyx c. 2.5 mm in flower, 4-5.5 mm long in fruit; indumentum in flower of long white eglandular hairs mainly at base of calyx, glabrescent; tube villous within; fruiting pedicels c. 3.5 mm, erect-adpressed to axis, apically reflexed. Corolla white, c. 5 mm, pilose. Stamens exserted, glabrous or pilose, toothed at base or not. Nutlets c. 1.5 x 0.8- 1.3 mm, narrow oblong, dark brown or black, densely white mucilaginous on wetting.
Fl. Per.: ± throughout the year.
Type: "Habitat in America, Miller" (LINN 749/9 - microfiche!).
Distribution: Tropical Africa, Arabia, Pakistan, Kashmir, Himalayas to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia.
The differences between this and the following species appear to be slight and more of quantity than kind; revisionary studies are required. Ocimum americanum may be the wild progenitor of Ocimum basilicum.