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A Introduced Photo: Yogesh Sharma
Common name: Cumin • Assamese: জিরা Jira • Bengali: জিরা Jira • Gujarati: જીરું Jirum • Hindi: जीरा Jeera • Kannada: ಜೀರ Jeera, ಜೀರಿಗೆ Jeerige • Manipuri: ꯖꯤꯔꯥ Jira • Tamil: ஜீரகம் Jeerakam • Urdu: Zeera ﺯﻳﺮﺍ
Botanical name: Cuminum cyminum    Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Synonyms: Cuminum aegyptiacum, Cuminum sativum

Cumin is an annual herb, growing up to 30-50 cm tall, with a slender, hairless, branched stem that is 20-30 cm tall and has a diameter of 3-5 cm. Each branch has two to three sub-branches. All the branches attain the same height, so the plant has a uniform canopy. The stem is colored grey or dark green. The leaves are 5-10 cm long, pinnate or double compound, with thread-like leaflets. The flowers are small, white or pink, and borne in umbels. Each umbel has five to seven umbellets. The fruit is a lateral spindle-shaped or ovoid achene 4-5 mm long, containing two mericarps with a single seed. Cumin seeds have eight ridges with oil canals. They resemble caraway seeds, being oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged, and yellow-brown in color, like other members of the carrot family such as caraway, parsley, and dill. Cumin seeds are extensively used in cooking the world over. Cumin is native to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq , now cultivated worldwide.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh, Vishnu Prajapati Photographed in cultivation.

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