Common name: Sesame. Tamil Name: Cirril, El
Sesamum is a herb that grows to a height of about 1 meter and often found on road sides and fallow lands in Tamilnadu. The plant is hardy and can grow even in dry areas. The stem of the plant is quadrangular in shape. The plant is hairy and glandular and have a rich humus smell. The leaves are simple and arranged in an opposite manner. The leaf shape is highly variable, lower leaves can be shallowly tri-lobed while upper leaves are not lobed. The leaf margin is toothed. The leaf stalk and leaf length measure around 8.5 cm and 10.5 cm respectively; near the vicinity of the petiole yellow gland-like structures are seen. The leaves are ovate in shape, with an acute tip and a rounded base. The inflorescence is axillary and mostly single. The flowers are bisexual, tubular and white in color (flower color can also be pink). The calyx is small consists of five segments joined below. The five-parted flower is joined to form a tubular flower; one of the lobes is slightly longer that the rest. The flowers are sessile and measure around 3-3.4 cm in length. The flower encloses 4 anthers which are arranged in a didynamous manner and contains a single style. The fruit is in form fo a bi-parted capsule (measuring around 2-2.5 cm in length) which is oblong in shape and contain obovate shaped small seeds. The seeds are deployed to extract sesame oil.