Lemon basil (Ocimum x citridorum) is a hybrid between American basil (Ocimum americanum) and great basil (Ocimum basilicum).
It differs from other basils in that it has narrower leaves and a strong lemony smell. Today this species is cultivated all over North Africa and Southern Asia as a culinary herb and has long been an essential ingredient in the kitchens of Indonesia, Thailand, Laos and India, where it is used to season salads and cooked dishes such as curries, soups, stews and steamed and grilled dishes.
It cannot withstand cold winter temperatures, which is why in the gardens at the Alhambra and Generalife it is grown as a seasonal plant between May and October.
In addition to its ornamental value, it also has ecological uses as a natural repellent of aphids, moths, mites, worms, beetles, mosquitoes and flies, which is why we grow it mixed in with other flower species such as the mealy sage and the globe amaranth.