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    The Henna Plant, Propagation and Cultivation

    Lawsonia Inermis in flower and fruit

    Sweet smelling henna flower, for perfumery.

    Origin and Geographical Distribution
    Lawsonia Inermis is native throughout the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent. It flourishes in sunny positions in heavy soils that hold moisture well – though it will grow almost anywhere in these regions. These days it is also widely cultivated in China, The West Indies and Australia as well as in its native countries.

    Propagation Lawsonia Inermis grows wild throughout its native countries, and is also a common tree found in gardens and villages. However these days it is mainly cultivated on a large scale as it is a valuable cash crop. It is a perennial plant, and with the exception of the initial year, it can be harvested twice a year in April/May and October/November. Initial yields are low, but increase to around 1,700kg per hectare, and up to 2,000kg per irrigated hectare. For a good crop with a high Lawsone content in the leaves a temperature of around 25 degrees C is required, henna grown in lower temperatures may look the same, but will be produce far inferior quality henna powder, with a poor colour content. It is also important to dry the leaves fast and out of direct sunlight, to retain the colouring properties. It is after all the lawsone content that drives the market for this valuable cash crop, local people have used henna powder, chiefly as a cosmetic for thousands of years, hence its dispersal throughout North Africa, The Middle East & the Indian Subcontinent.

    Thursday, January 4th, 2007 at 11:55 pmand is filed under Geographical Roots. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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