Basil includes Genovese basil, Thai basil, holy basil, and purple basil.
Basil is a mint family plant.
Basil is ready to harvest as soon as it has leaves. Harvest by clipping the stem often, encouraging more branching and fulness throughout the season.
When it’s too late: A mature basil plant will go to flower (“bolt”). The flowers and leaves at this stage are edible, but typically too bitter to be very useful.
Store as a whole branch with leaves, rooted in room-temperature water, for 3-10 days. Change water daily.
Store as whole leaves in an airtight container the refrigerator. Chopped leaves will bruise and discolor readily.