Malabar Sesame
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Malabar Sesame
A Native Photo: Tabish
Common name: Malabar Sesame • Hindi: Til तिल
Botanical name: Sesamum indicum subsp. malabaricum    Family: Pedaliaceae (Sesame family)
Synonyms: Sesamum malabaricum Burm.

Malabar Sesame is a wild herb often mistaken for the cultivated 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 2–2.5 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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