Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n ocimum A genus of labiate herbs and shrubs, type of the tribe Ocimoideæ, known by the short corolla-tube and the deflexed fruiting calyx, with the ovate posterior tooth largest and decurrent. There are about 45 species, widely dispersed over warmer regions, especially Africa and Brazil. They bear simple or branched terminal racemes of small flowers, usually whitish and six in a whorl, with projecting pistil and stamens. O. viride is called fever-plant in Sierra Leone, where a decoction of it is used as an antiperiodic. The species in general are called basil (which see). Also spelled Ocymum.