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Taxon: Sesamum indicum L.

Genus: Sesamum
Family: Pedaliaceae
Nomen number: 33749
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:634. 1753, nom. cons.
Link to protologue: https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/358655
  • • conserved (nom. cons.) against the heterotypic synonym (Shenzhen ICN Art. 14.4 & App. IV) Sesamum orientale
  • • first united with S. orientale L. by DC., Pl. rar. jard. Geneve 16-19. 1825, satisfying Shenzhen ICN Art. 11.5, despite arguments in Taxon 38:656-659. 1989
Typification: View in Linnean Typification Project
Name Verified on: 05-Dec-1996 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 1506 (1233 active, 1150 available) in National Plant Germplasm System (Map)

Autonyms (not in current use), synonyms and invalid designations:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym, I invalid designation)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Animal food: fodder
  • Food additives: flavoring (ash as salt substitute)
  • Human food: pseudocereal; seeds
  • Materials:
  • Medicines: folklore
  • Non-vertebrate poisons: plant pest control (together with pyrethrum)

Distributional Range:

    Cultivated (widely cult.)

    Other (possible origin India or Africa)


  1. Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson. 2012. Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource) URL: www.skud.info
  2. Batra, L. R. 1995. Names of Japanese plants sorted by their Japanese names in Romanized Katakana and scientific nomenclature
  3. Bedigian, D. 2010. Characterization of sesame (Sesamum indicum L) germplasm: a critique. Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 57:641-647.
  4. Bedigian, D. 2015. Systematics and evolution in Sesamum L. (Pedaliaceae), part 1. Evidence regarding the origin of sesame and its closest relatives. Webbia 70:1-42.
  5. Brummitt, R. K. 2005. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 57. Taxon 54:1098. Note: proposal recommended
  6. Burkill, H. M. 1985-2004. The useful plants of west tropical Africa. Note: = Sesamum orientale L.
  7. Dassanayake, M. D. & F. R. Fosberg, eds. 1980-. A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon.
  8. Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs
  9. Exell, A. W. et al., eds. 1960-. Flora zambesiaca.
  10. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). URL: http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropListDetails?code=&relation=beginsWith&name=Sesamum+indicum&quantity=1 target='_blank'
  11. Gormley, I. C. et al. 2015. Phylogeny of Pedaliaceae and Martyniaceae and the placement of Trapella in Plantaginaceae s.l.. Syst. Bot. 40:259-268. URL: www.aspt.net/systematic-botany
  12. Hanelt, P., ed. 2001. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6
  13. Hara, H. et al. 1978-1982. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal.
  14. International Seed Testing Association. 1982. A Multilingual Glossary of Common Plant-Names 1. Field crops, grasses and vegetables, ed. 2.
  15. John, C. M. et al. 1950. The wild gingelly of Malabar. Madras Agric. J. 37:47-50.
  16. Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Note: = Sesamum orientale L.
  17. Magness, J. R. et al. 1971. Food and feed crops of the United States. IR Bull. 1
  18. Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2
  19. Matthew, K. M. 1983. The flora of the Tamilnadu Carnatic. Note: = Sesamum orientale L.
  20. McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2 American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, Maryland.
  21. Mun-Chan, B. et al. 1986. A checklist of the Korean cultivated plants. Kulturpflanze 34:129.
  22. Nicolson, D. H. & J. H. Wiersema. 2004. (1618) Proposal to conserve Sesamum indicum against Sesamum orientale (Pedaliaceae). Taxon 53:210-211.
  23. Nicolson, D. H. et al. 1988. An interpretation of Van Rheede's Hortus Malabaricus. Regnum Veg. 119:207.
  24. Personal Care Products Council. INCI
  25. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  26. Rehm, S. & G. Espig. 1991. The cultivated plants of the tropics and subtropics Note: = Sesamum orientale L.
  27. Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants
  28. Rosengarten, F. 1984. The book of edible nuts
  29. Seegeler, C. J. P. 1989. Sesamum orientale L. (Pedaliaceae): sesame's correct name. Taxon 38:656-659. Note: = Sesamum orientale L.; maintains that DC's joining of S. indicum & S. orientale was only provisional
  30. Smith, A. C. 1979-1991. Flora vitiensis nova. Note: = Sesamum orientale L.
  31. Steenis, C. G. G. J. van, ed. 1976. Flora malesiana. 7:829. Note: = Sesamum orientale L.
  32. Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952-. Flora of tropical East Africa.
  33. Uphof, J. C. T. 1968. Dictionary of economic plants, ed. 2.
  34. Voss, E. G. 1996. pers. comm. Note: accepts, based on examination of DC's original reference, concluding that DC effectively satisfied the requirements of Art. 11.5 (Tokyo Code) in uniting Sesamum indicum & S. orientale and choosing S. indicum
  35. Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994-. Flora of China (English edition).
  36. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).

Check other web resources for Sesamum indicum L. :

  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.


  • Embryo drawing: U.S. National Seed Herbarium drawing
  • Seeds: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=33749. Accessed 14 August 2020.