Taxon: Sesamum indicum L.

Genus: Sesamum
Family: Pedaliaceae
Nomen number: 33749
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:634. 1753, nom. cons.
  • • conserved (nom. cons.) against the heterotypic synonym (Melbourne ICN Art. 14.4 & App. IV) S. orientale
  • • first united with S. orientale L. by DC., Pl. rar. jard. Geneve 16-19. 1825, satisfying Melbourne ICN Art. 11.5, despite arguments in Taxon 38:656-659. 1989
Name Verified on: 05-Dec-1996 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 21-Jan-2014
Species priority site is: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, GA (S9)
Accessions: 1503 in National Plant Germplasm System (GoogleMap)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Food additives: flavoring (from seeds fide Edible Nuts; PROTA4U, ash as salt substitute)
  • Human food: oil/fat (fide Dict Econ Pl)
  • Human food: pseudocereal (fide Mansf Ency)
  • Human food: seeds (fide Dict Econ Pl)
  • Animal food: fodder (seed cakes fide Mansf Ency)
  • Materials: lipids (for lubricants, medicines, perfumes, soaps fide PROTA4U)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Non-vertebrate poisons: plant pest control (together with pyrethrum fide Mansf Ency)

Distributional Range:


    . possible origin India or Africa


    . widely cult.


  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Batra, L. R. Names of Japanese plants sorted by their Japanese names in Romanized Katakana and scientific nomenclature. 1995 (Names Batra)
  • Bensky, D., A. Gamble, & T. J. Kaptchuk Chinese herbal medicine: Materia medica, rev. ed. 1993 (Chin Herb Med)
  • Brummitt, R. K. 2005. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 57 (Taxon) 54:1098.
  • Burkill, H. M. The useful plants of west tropical Africa. 1985-2004 (Use Pl WT Afr)
  • Dassanayake, M. D. & F. R. Fosberg, eds. A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon. 1980- (F Ceylon)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Exell, A. W. et al., eds. Flora zambesiaca. 1960- (F Zamb)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Hanelt, P., ed. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6. 2001 (Mansf Ency)
  • Hara, H. et al. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal. 1978-1982 (L Nepal)
  • International Seed Testing Association A Multilingual Glossary of Common Plant-Names 1. Field crops, grasses and vegetables, ed. 2. 1982 (Mult Glossary Crops)
  • Janick, J. & J. Simon, eds. Advances in new crops. 1990 (Adv New Crops)
  • John, C. M. et al. 1950. The wild gingelly of Malabar Madras Agric. J. 37:47-50.
  • Kartesz, J. T. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1994 (L US Can ed2)
  • Keys, J. D. Chinese herbs: their botany, chemistry, and pharmacodynamics. 1976 (Chin Herbs)
  • Magness, J. R. et al. Food and feed crops of the United States. IR Bull. 1. 1971 (Crops US)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • Matthew, K. M. The flora of the Tamilnadu Carnatic. 1983 (F TamilC)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Moerman, D. Native American ethnobotany, ed. 5. 1998 (Nat Amer Ethnobot)
  • Mun-Chan, B. et al. 1986. A checklist of the Korean cultivated plants (Kulturpflanze) 34:129.
  • Núñez Meléndez, E. Plantas medicinales de Puerto Rico: Folklore y fundamentos científicos. 1982 (Pl Med PR)
  • Nicolson, D. H. & J. H. Wiersema 2004. (1618) Proposal to conserve Sesamum indicum against Sesamum orientale (Pedaliaceae) (Taxon) 53:210-211.
  • Nicolson, D. H. et al. 1988. An interpretation of Van Rheede's Hortus Malabaricus Regnum Veg. 119:207.
  • Parrotta, J. A. Healing plants of peninsular India. 2001 (Healing Pl India)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Rehm, S. & G. Espig The cultivated plants of the tropics and subtropics. 1991 (CultTropS)
  • Rosengarten, F. The book of edible nuts. 1984 (Edible Nuts)
  • Seegeler, C. J. P. 1989. Sesamum orientale L. (Pedaliaceae): sesame's correct name (Taxon) 38:656-659.
  • Smith, A. C. Flora vitiensis nova. 1979-1991 (F Viti)
  • Steenis, C. G. G. J. van, ed. 1976. Flora malesiana. 1948- (F Males) 7:829.
  • Tirtha, SadaShiva The Ayurveda encyclopedia: Natural secrets to healing, prevention, and longevity. 1998 (Ayurveda Ency)
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. 1952- (F TE Afr)
  • Uphof, J. C. T. Dictionary of economic plants, ed. 2. 1968 (Dict Econ Pl)
  • Voss, E. G. 1996. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Wiersema, J. H. & B. León World economic plants: a standard reference (on-line edition) [medicinal plants only]. (World Econ Pl Med)
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). 1994- (F ChinaEng)


Check other web resources for Sesamum indicum L. :


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