wild basil

I was walking the dog the other day and noticed some plants that had popped up after the monsoon rains came. One particular type was starting to grow a flowering head and looked really familiar.

It reminded me of the Thai basil that comes in pho. Purple stems, similar shape, some parts of the year it has a flowering head.

This stuff had much narrower leaves, but might be wild vs. cultivated. I crushed a leaf and smelled it; definitely some basil smell in there. I’d say 80% green grass, 15% basil, and 5% something else.

Clinopodium vulgare

I looked it up and there is definitely wild basil growing in the forests around Los Alamos. It’s not the same species as basils one finds in the supermarket but the wiki page says it has been used for cooking, medicine, etc.

I picked and washed some and hung it up to dry. Might make some tea out of some fresh leaves if I get a chilly evening.