In Which My Basil Plant Goes to Seed

Literally!  For the past week and a half, my basil plant has taken to drooping if it doesn’t get watered daily.  I’d come home from work and find it looking like this:

  

How pathetic is that!?

And then I realized that all the branches I had pinched back earlier this summer were trying to flower.  So I pinched those parts off, and then came back a few days later and pinched them off again (apparently my basil really wanted to flower).  It wanted to flower so much that I found this in the stack of leaves I have drying:

Yup, those are basil flowers.  On a branch that has been drying for the past few days.  I’m beginning to wish I had never pinched my plant back- only the branches I pinched are putting out flowers (I just pinched off 4 more this evening).

Anyone else have a plant that just keeps on flowering?  Will it affect the flavor of my basil leaves if I let the plant flower?  Any advice on how to make it stop?

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