Sesame

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods. Sesame seed is one of the oldest cornseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. It was a major summer crop in the Middle East for thousands of years, as attested to by the discovery of many ancient presses for sesame oil in the region. Sesame is drought-tolerant and is able to grow where other crops fail. Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed.