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Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

21 September 2014 | Sesame (Sesamum indicum) |

photo I did not realise that it is relatively easy to grow Sesame (Sesamum indicum) in pots until I experience it myself. In March, I was given some sesame seeds to grow. Due to the limited space that I had along my balcony, I was not too keen to grow them. I had a hard time deciding on which pot should I dump the seed into. Eventually, I literally littered most of them in the pot that housed a dying Rose Cactus (Pereskia grandifolia). A forth of them was placed in the neighbouring pot that housed some Three-leaved Eleutherococcus (Eleutherococcus trifoliatus).

While the Rose Cactus expired soon after producing some blooms and the Three-leaved Eleutherococcuswas not doing as well, the sesame seeds was germinating well. Over the next few months, they continued to grow taller in both pots. The whole plant is covered with fine white hairs. Though I took a few pictures of it on-and-off but did not pay much attention to the colony. On 8 August, I spotted saw a flower bud on one plant. Now, that immediately triggered my interest and attention to them. Upon closer examination of the colony, I discovered that this was not the first flower bud. One of the shorter plant in the other pot had already got an immature fruit. It had flowered without me noticing it.

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Due to the size of the pots and the competition, not all plants grew at the same rate. After a few months, some of them had outgrown the rest.

The flower is pure white in colour, drooping along the stem near the top end of plant while the fruits are vertical capsules. Pollination is likely to be self-service since I did not see any creature visiting the flowers. Flowering took place in the whole population regardless of the height of the plants; even very short plants started to flowers and bear fruits around the same time.

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In all, it took around 5 months from the sowing of the seeds to the appearance of the fruits. This duration is consistent with that reported by others. I am looking forward to examine the ripe capsule and the seeds soon.

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