Sesamum calycinum

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Sesamum calycinum is a plant in the Pedaliaceae family that grows from Nigeria south to Namibia and Mozambique.[1] It is "a usually erect herb, rarely straggling, sparingly branched to 1.3 m, occasionally higher" with long, narrow leaves, and funnel-shaped pink to reddish purple, hairy flowers.

Cultivation in Kenya

In Kenya, it grows in abandoned cultivated land, grassland, and roadsides from sea level to 3000 m above sea level. It's common in light clay and sandy soils.

"Uses: Food: Used as a vegetable (Luhya, Luo, Teso) which has a mucilaginous texture and a slight odour. It is normally cooked with Corchorus (Luo: apoth, Luhya: murenda). A useful oil may be obtained from the seeds.
Medicinal: Oil used as medicine for ringworm (Uganda, Busoga). Leaves ground and applied to the scalp for baldness (Boni). Leaves rubbed in water to give a mucilage used for eye troubles and infant diarrhoea. Mucilage is used to treat burns and wounds. Crushed leaves are rubbed in the hair when washing to give it a glossy look. Used in the treatment of stomach-ache (Kamba)."[1]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 Patrick M. Maundu, Grace W. Ngugi, and Christine H.S. Kabuye, Traditional Food Plants of Kenya, Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, 1999, p. 208.

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