The Lovely Plants

Lovely Colors and Fragrance of Henna: Lawsonia Inermes

Lawsonia Inermes which in widely known as Henna or Mehndi is a tall evergreen shrub from tropical and sub-tropical regions of southern Asia and Africa. This sun loving shrub grows up to 2.5 meters and bears small fragrant flowers of white or pale pink colors almost all through the year. Suitable as hedge plant, Henna plant makes a good evergreen and strong hedges that emit strong fragrance during summer and rainy seasons.

Lawsonia Inermis (Henna, Mehndi) , Image by J. M. Garg

Henna has been an important plant is human civilization. The history of Henna plant can be traced back to ancient civilization of Egypt where Egyptians used Henna powder to dye their skin, hair and nail. In fact, use of Henna was considered a delicacy and a cultural refinement in ancient Egyptian civilization. Later this cultural was adopted by the Arabs and other civilizations in Africa and India.

Today, Henna is the most popular part of women’s cosmetic is Asian cultures especially in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan etc. where it is used for dying hair and nail and decorating hands and feet with beautiful floral patterns and tattoos on the eve of weddings, parties and other festivals. In fact, it is a ‘must’ in bridal make up and wedding ceremonies in Asian cultures. The immense popularity of Henna as cosmetic product has led to its commercial production at large scale in Pakistan and India where it grows in abundance under minimal care.

Bridal Mehndi, Image by Abdullah Mohiuddin

Henna is used in the form of paste prepared from water and powder of dried Henna leaves. Henna plant is also an important ingredient in preparation of several perfumes. It is also known as a useful medicinal herb for the treatment of leprosy.

How to Grow Henna

Henna can be propagated easily from cuttings and seeds. These shrubby plants require moderate watering and bright sunlight.