Basil is a beautiful plant that has culinary, medicinal and ornamental qualities. There are about 150 species of aromatic annuals and perennials in the basil family. Basil is rich, spicy and mildly peppery and is used traditionally in Mediterranean, Italian and Thai cooking. The complex flavour of basil mixes well with thyme, garlic and lemon. Basil is one of the most popular herbs in the home garden, thanks to its warm, spicy taste.