Malabar Sesame is a wild herb often mistaken for the
Sesame. It has the following distinguishing
features. Flowers are 2.2-5.5 cm long; lower lip 1.0-1.5 cm longer
than other lobes, dark purple, with intensity of color ranking 10 on a
scale of 1 to 10, pigmentation occupying entire lower lip. Living plant
color is dark green, often with purplish hue. Plants often reaching 2 m
tall, typically branching profusely; lower leaves divided, undivided,
and sawtoothed in less-developed leaves, without leafy outgrowths at
base of leaves above leaf-stalk. Seedpods are 2-2.5 cm long,
bicarpellate, texture woody. Seed color is dark brown or black; seed
surface prominently netveined and rugose, markedly dormant; seeds 22.5
mm long, with distinct sharp edges, sides broad, transversely or
reticulately rugose. On the other hand, Sesame seed color is variable,
white, ivory, beige, tan, mustard yellow, brick red. Malabar Sesame is
found throughout India.
Identification credit: Tabish
Photographed in JNU Campus, Delhi.
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The flower labeled Malabar Sesame is ...