Around 1100 in Kalsa, the old district of Palermo, a beautiful young girl spent her days tending to her plants which adorned her balcony. One day, a young Moor was passing through Kalsa, when he saw the beautiful girl tending to her balcony of flowers and immediately fell in love. He declared his love for her at once, his passionate intensity impressed her and she reciprocated his love.
However, when he was due to return to homeland where his wife and children were waiting for him, the girl killed him in a jealous rage while he slept. She cut off his head and turned it into a pot for a basil plant, putting it on display on her balcony so he would stay with her forever. Thanks to the many tears she cried, the basil plant grew luxuriously, making it the envy of all her neighbours and friends who enviously began to make clay pots in the shape of Moorish heads.