A decimal code to describe the growth stages of sesame (Sesamum orientale L.)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, College of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

2 Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, College of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia, USA.

3 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Agricultural Faculty, University of Tehran, Karaj, Tehran, Iran

4 Institute of Standard, and Industrial Research of Iran, Karaj, Iran


A standard description of growth stages for crops/plants is necessary not only for determining and improving cultural practices, but also to facilitate enhanced communication among producers, researchers, and educators. It also could help in unifying experimental results. Many different descriptions of growth stages are currently available for many crops, but there are no codes for sesame (Sesamum orientale L.). To define the standard description, common characteristics of sesame genotypes, including main stem node, flower bud appearance, flower bearing and flower opening, and capsule and seed formation, are used. Four principal stages were identified for the crop growth cycle and secondary stages were defined for each principal stage. The three digits stage code uses the first digit to represent the principal stage and the second and third digits shows for the secondary stages. A period “.” or a comma “,” are used to separate the principal and secondary stage digits. All stages are also documented with hand-drawn illustrations. In this system, a three digit decimal code is assignment to each individual crop development cycle and the complete crop growth and development cycle from seed, as planted, to seed, as harvested, is described.  The presented scale is a user friendly tool to recognition of sesame population stages of development. It helps researchers and farmers to choose the best agricultural practices and applying then in farms and research plots.