Sesamum radiatum, commonly known as the wild sesame or black sesame, is a flowering plant native to Africa, particularly found in countries like Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania. It belongs to the genus Sesamum in the family Pedaliaceae. Unlike its cultivated counterpart Sesamum indicum, which is widely grown for its seeds (commonly known as sesame seeds), Sesamum radiatum is primarily found in the wild.

The seeds are eaten whole, made into a paste, ground into a powder, or pressed for a high-quality oil. The leaves can be eaten fresh or cooked and are used in Sub-Saharan Africa as a leaf vegetable. The leaves are mucilaginous in texture when cooked. The shoots can also be eaten and are used in soups and porridge.


The leaves are also used medicinally as a laxative, an antidote to scorpion venom and to treat sprains and ease childbirth. The stem and bark have also been noted for their anti-bacterial properties.

While not as extensively cultivated as Sesamum indicum, Sesamum radiatum still holds significance. Its seeds are edible and can be ground into a paste or used as a condiment. In some regions of Africa, particularly Ethiopia, the seeds are roasted and used as a coffee substitute. Additionally, the plant is used in traditional medicine for various purposes, including treating skin ailments, diarrhea, and respiratory issues.

In African cultures, particularly in Ethiopia, Sesamum radiatum holds cultural and traditional significance. It is sometimes used in rituals or ceremonies.

Growth: Growing Sesamum radiatum from seed follows similar principles to cultivating other sesame varieties. Here are general guidelines for growing it from seed:

Soil: Sesamum radiatum can grow on poor, rocky soils and it flowers even through drought conditions. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types but will really thrive in fertile, well-drained soil.

Climate: It grows well in warm climates with temperatures between 25-35°C. It requires full sun for optimal growth.

Sowing: Seeds should be sown directly into the soil after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. Sow the seeds about 1-2 cm deep and space them about 20-30 cm apart.

Watering: Sesamum radiatum is drought-tolerant but still requires regular watering, especially during dry periods. Avoid over watering, as it can lead to root rot.

Maintenance: Keep the area around the plants weed-free to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer if necessary.

Harvesting: The seeds can be harvested once the pods start to turn brown and the seeds inside are fully mature. Harvest by cutting the plants and allowing them to dry before threshing to extract the seeds.

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Seed Count: 50

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