A plant of the mint family (Labiatae), with a distinctive two-lobed flower.
- In common with other labiates, Basil furnishes an aromatic, volatile oil, and on this account is much employed in France for flavouring soups, especially turtle soup.
- The flowers appear in racemes arising in whorls on the terminal part of the stems and are labiates, bilaterally symmetrical and purplish in color.
- All labiates have four nutlets at the base of their flower at maturity.
Early 18th century (as an adjective in the sense 'two-lipped', describing a corolla or calyx): from modern Latin labiatus, from labium 'lip'.
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