Srimati Tulasi Devi is Srimati Vrnda Devi's beautiful partial expansion in this material world. Caring for Tulasi devi is purifying to one's self, pleasing to Lord Krsna, and, by her mercy, bestows upon one the privilege of devotional service and the attainment of love of God. There are actually two types of Tulasis. Those plants that develop a beautiful purple coloration on their stems and leaves when grown in direct sunlight and dark purple to pink flowers and called Krsna Tulasis. These intergrade through a spectrum of intermediates to the Rama Tulasis, whose leaves and stems never turn purple and their flowers are pure white.
To the scientific community, Tulasi is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family, and is known by her Latin name Ocimum Sanctum L. The generic name Ocimum means she is related to the herb basil, and the specific epithet sanctum means "holy" in honor of her exalted status, hence she is also called Holy Basil. The robust Laksmi Tulasi or Tulsa is the tree basil or Ocimum gratissimum var. suave (Wild) Hook f. She is often used as a substitute in worship when Tulasi is not available.
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