Sesame seeds and features

Sesame oil seeds origin, crop size and crop capabilities



The Sesamum indicum crop

The Sesamum indicum in Latin or the Sesame seed is known to be the oldest oil seed crop. The sesame oilseed comes in a variety of species of which most are wild.


The Sesamum indicum crop is an annual plant growing 50cm up to 100cm tall. The plant has opposite leaves ranging from 4cm to 14cm long. The leaves are broad up to 5cm and at the base of the plant its is narrowing to just 1 cm measured on the flowering stem.


The sesame flowers are yellow with a tubular shape, from 3cm up to 5cm long with a four lobed shaped mouth. The color of the flowers vary in white, yellow, purple or blue.


The sesame pod and seeds

Sesame pods is a capsule, pubescent and rectangular in shape and grooved with a short triangular section. The pod’s length varies from 2cm to 8cm and its width is between 0.5cm to 2 cm. The number of loculi ranges from 4 to 12. When matured, the sesame pod dehisces to release the seeds by opening the septa from top to bottom. The degree to which the dehiscence takes place is important for mechanized harvesting as well as height of the first capsule.


The seeds of the Sesame crop are small and the there is a great variety in form, size, and colors. Most common is that the seeds are between 3 to 4mm long x 2mm wide and 1mm thick. The seed cover called testa can be tabbed or smooth. The weight of the sesame seeds is ranging from 20 to 40 milligrams. The sesame seeds are shaped slightly flattened and ovate and slightly thinner close to the eye of the seed (called the hilum) at the opposite end.


The sesame seed crop features

The sesame see enjoys to be able to grow in areas where other crops are not able to grow. Sesame crop is a robust crop that requires little farmer support as it is able for example to grow in very dry conditions, with a high heat and with just some residual moisture in the soil after the raining season is gone or opposite when rains are still excessive. Sesame crop is grown by farmers at the edge of the desert, where no other crop is able to grow. Therefore, Sesame crop is also called a survivor crop.


Although the sesame crop is very tolerant to drought – mainly due to its extensive root system – it does require an appropriate moisture for its germination and its early growth. The sesame crop has no problem surviving excess water or drought but it does affect yields which will be much lower in both conditions.  What impact yield most is the moisture level just before planting and flowering.

black sesame seeds

black sesame seeds

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white sesame seeds

the sesame pods

the sesame pods

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