Foto info
ative Photo: Radhika Vatsan
Common name: Sesame • Hindi: Safed til सफ़ेद तिल • Manipuri: Thoiding • Tamil: சிற்றெள் Cirrel, எள் El, எள்ளு Ellu, திலம் Tilam
Botanical name: Sesamum indicum    Family: Pedaliaceae (Sesame family)
Synonyms: Sesamum orientale, Sesamum mulayanum

This is a small bush found in India. There are three varieties; black, white, red (or brown) White has most oil, black is best for healing. There are several variants and the flower differs in color from one variety to the other. The herb is cultivated extensively in many regions of the world, including the People's Republic of China, India, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States. The plant grows erect and reaches a height of 1 to 2 meters, with fine pubescent leaves, pink or white flowers, and a capsule-type fruit from which seeds are obtained. From their seeds an oil is expressed, called benne oil, used mostly for making soap. In the southern United States the seeds are used in candy.

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