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ative Photo: Sujata Naorem
Common name: Sesame • Hindi: Safed til सफ़ेद तिल • Manipuri: Thoiding • Tamil: சிற்றெள் Cirrel, எள் El, எள்ளு Ellu, திலம் Tilam • Nepali: तिल Til • Mizo: Chhibung
Botanical name: Sesamum indicum subsp. indicum    Family: Pedaliaceae (Sesame family)
Synonyms: Sesamum orientale, Sesamum mulayanum

Sesame is a common cultivated herb. Flowers are 1.5-3.3 cm long. Lower lip is occasionally equal to, or more usually 2–10 mm longer than, other lobes. Flower color is variable, from white, light pink, pale lavender to light purple, or with pale lavender lines, ranging in intensity from 1 to 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, coloration varies with cultivar, some with linear markings, some tinted only at lower margin of lower lip, with variable intensity and variable amount of surface area covered. Living plant color is in shades of green, extending from yellow-green, fern green, shamrock green, emerald green, forest green, jade green, sea green, dark green with purplish hue. Plants are generally 30-110 cm tall, branching variable, cultivar-dependent, from single-stemmed to profusely branching; lower leaves varying by cultivar, ranging from occasionally divided, tripartite, with toothed margins, some with leafy outgrowths at base of leaves above leaf-stalk; many cultivars with lanceshaped or simple ovate leaves. Seedpods are 1.5-5 cm long, bicarpellate and tetracarpellate, texture papery to woody (variable). Seed color variable, white, ivory, beige, tan, mustard yellow, brick red, various shades of brown, gray, or black; seed surfaces smooth, granular, seldom transversely or netveinedly rugose, not dormant;

Identification credit: Pravin Kawale, Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Imphal & Chennai.

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