sesame

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sesame

(sĕs`əmē), herb (Sesamum indicum or orientale) cultivated for its seeds since ancient times, found chiefly in the tropics of Africa and Asia. Sesame seeds, also called bennes or gingellies, are black or white and yield an oil that resists turning rancid. The oil (known also as teel oil) is used extensively in India for cooking, soap manufacture, food, and medicine and as an adulterant for olive oil. The seeds are also popularly added to cookies and other baked goods and are made into candy (e.g., benne cakes). Sesame was introduced by African slaves to the U.S. South, where it sometimes becomes a weed. The sesame was once credited with mystic powers. Sesame is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Serophulariales, family Pedaliaceae.

sesame

1. a tropical herbaceous plant, Sesamum indicum, of the East Indies, cultivated, esp in India, for its small oval seeds: family Pedaliaceae
2. the seeds of this plant, used in flavouring bread and yielding an edible oil (benne oil or gingili)