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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Pedaliaceae
Tribus: Pedalieae – Sesameae – Sesamothamneae
Genera: CeratothecaDewinteriaDicerocaryumHarpagophytumHolubiaJosephiniaLinariopsisPedaliodiscusPedaliumPterodiscusRogeriaSesamothamnusSesamumUncarina


Pedaliaceae R.Br. Prodr. 519. (1810) nom. cons.

Type genus: Pedalium D.Royen ex L. Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 2: 1123, 1375. (1759)

Note: This taxon page should now follow Goaverts et al., (2021) and subsume Ceratotheca, Dicerocaryum and Josephinia in an expanded Sesamum - see additional references excluding Olmstead et al. (2012).
Primary references

Brown, R. 1810. Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae 519.

Additional references

Christenhusz, M.J.M., Fay, M.F. & Byng, J.W. (eds). 2018. The Global Flora, Vol. 4: Special Edition, GLOVAP Nomenclature Part 1. Plant Gateway Ltd., Bradford. ISBN 978-0-9929993-5-3 PDFReference page.
Gormley, I.C., Bedigian, D. & Olmstead, R.G. 2015. Phylogeny of Pedaliaceae and Martyniaceae and the Placement of Trapella in Plantaginaceae s.l. Systematic Botany 40(1):259-268. DOI: 10.1600/036364415X686558 Paywall ResearchGate Reference page.
Manning, J.C. & Magee, A.R. 2018. Additional new combinations in Sesamum L. (Pedaliaceae: Sesameae). Bothalia 48(1): 1–2. DOI: 10.4102/abc.v48i1.2363 PDF Reference page.
Olmstead, R.G. (ed.) 2016. A Synoptical Classification of the Lamiales. Version 2.6.2 (in prog.). 20 pp. (PDF) Reference page.


International Plant Names Index. 2015. Pedaliaceae. Published online. Accessed: Mar. 24 2015.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Pedaliaceae in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Aug. 18. Reference page.
Tropicos.org 2015. Pedaliaceae. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2015 Mar. 24.

Vernacular names
English: Sesame family
eesti: Seesamilised
suomi: Seesamikasvit
한국어: 참깨과
latviešu: Sezamu dzimta
中文: 芝麻科

Pedaliaceae, the pedalium family or sesame family, is a flowering plant family classified in the order Lamiales. The family includes sesame (Sesamum indicum), the source of sesame seeds.

It comprises 13 genera and approximately 70 species. Eight genera are native to the African continent and one genus (Uncarina) is endemic to Madagascar. Four genera (Sesamum, Josephinia, Pedalium and Dicerocaryum) are mainly African natives but they also include regions to the east (including Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Malayan Islands and northern Australia).[2]

The family has a diverse range of seed and fruit dispersal throughout the various species. Including; animal dispersal vis burrs, carried by feet (in Dicerocaryum, Harpagophytum and Josephinia) or caught in the fur of passing animals (Uncarina), winged fruits using the wind for dispersal (Holubia and Pterodiscus), or even winged seeds (Sesamothamnus and Sesamum) or via wind-ballists (Ceratotheca and Rogeria). Wind-ballists are when the fruits open at the top but stay on the plant, then as the stems produce strong movements, the seeds are then gradually expelled.[2]

The family is in the order Lamiales, as confirmed by the most recent classification of the APG IV system.[1]

The historical Cronquist system placed the family in the Scrophulariales. Cronquist included the family Martyniaceae in Pedaliaceae, but phylogenetic studies have shown that the two families are not closely related and they are maintained as separate by the APG. Both families are characterized by having mucilaginous hairs, which often give the stems and leaves a slimy or clammy feel, and often have fruits with hooks or horns.


Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
Ib Friis and Olof Ryding (Editors) Biodiversity Research in the Horn of Africa Region: Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea at the Carlsberg Academy, Copenhagen, August 25-27, 1999 (2001), p. 63, at Google Books

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