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aturalized Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Ramtil, Niger, Blackseed • Hindi: रामतिल Ramtil, काला तिल Kalatil, Surguja, जगनी Jagni • Marathi: Karal, कालीतिल Kalitil, रानतीळ Rantil • Tamil: payellu, uchellu, kattel • Telugu: valesulu, vulisi, adavinvvulu • Kannada: ಹುಚ್ಚೆಳ್ಳು Huchchellu, ಗುರೆಳ್ಳು Gurellu ಕಾರೆಳ್ಳು Kaarellu, ಕುರಾಸಾಣಿ Kuraasaani, Ramtil, ಕೋರಟಿ Korati • Bengali: Sorguja • Oriya: ramtila, alashi • Konkani: झूसे तिल Jhuse til, कृष्ण गुरू Krishhna guru • Assamese: Sarguja • Gujarati: રામતિલ Ramtil • Nepali: झुसे तिल Jhuse Til , कालो तिल Kaalo Til, कृष्ण जिराक Krishna Jiraak
Botanical name: Guizotia abyssinica    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Guizotia oleifera, Polymnia abyssinica, Anthemis mysorensis

Ramtil is an erect, stout, branched annual herb, grown for its edible oil and seed. Its cultivation originated in the Ethiopian highlands, and has spread to other parts of the world. The seed, technically a fruit called an achene, is often sold as bird feed. The leaves are arranged on opposite sides of the stem. At the top of the stem leaves are arranged in an alternate fashion. Leaves are 10-20 cm long and 3-5 cm wide. The leaf margin morphology varies from pointed to smooth and leaf colour varies from light green to dark green, the leaf surface is smooth. Ramtil flower is yellow and, rarely, slightly green. The heads are 1.5-5 cm in diameter with 0.5-2 cm long ray florets. Two to three flower-heads grow together, each having ray and disk florets. The receptacle has a semi-spherical shape and is 1-2 cm in diameter and 0.5-0.8 cm high. The receptacle is surrounded by two rows of involucral bracts. The head consists of six to eight "petals" (fertile female ray florets). The disk florets, usually 40-60 per flower-head, are arranged in three whorls. The disk florets are yellow to orange with yellow anthers, and a densely hairy stigma.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed at Satara, Maharashtra.

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