A member of the mint family, Thai basil is a perennial plant that has a sweet flavor similar to clove, licorice and anise. The scientific name for Thai basil is Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora, more commonly known as sweet Thai.
Thai basil is a popular herb amongst the various cuisines of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, and it produces a pleasing aroma that is associated with sweet basil. The plants grow to a height of up to 18 inches, with leaves that are between 1 to 2 inches long. The leaves grow on purple stems that produce purple flowers. Thai basil is grown for culinary uses or as an attractive ornamental specimen.