Basil is an annual herb that stands 2-3 feet tall with green stems and a woody base, with a square cross section. It has opposite leaves that are 2-3 inches long, with tiny purple or white flowers. They are
arranged in flattened whorls, that encircle the stems, one whorl at a time. Plants are leafy and branch freely with a pair of opposing branches in a flat plane, then another pair above in a plane perpendicular to the last, and so on. Basil prefers full sun, light to partial shade, and well-drained soil, with regular watering.
Ocimum basilicum Basilicum Lamiaceae - Tropical Plant Book, http://tropicalplantbook.com/aromatic_plants/pages/basilicum.htm (accessed January 27, 2017).