Lawsonia inermis

Lawsonia inermis L.                               

Family     :  Lythraceae

Common Name :മൈലാഞ്ചി(Mal)

                                Henna (Eng)



     IUCN status         : Least concern (LC) -

Henna is a tall shrub or small tree, standing 6-25 ft tall. It is hairless and multi-branched, with spine-tipped branchlets. The leaves grow opposite each other on the stem. They are hairless, nearly-stalkless, elliptical, and lanceshaped.

Woody shrubs to small trees; bark ashy grey or brown, smooth, branchlets ending in thoens. Leaves opposite, 2.5-4.5 x 1-2 cm, elliptic or oblong to oblanceolate, base attenuate, apex acute or rounded, subsessile. Flowers in terminal cymose panicles; pedicels 2-4 mm long. Flowers sweet-scented, creamy white or red, 4-merous. Calyx tube c. 2 mm long, cupular; lobes 4, 2-3 mm long. Petals 4, 3-4 mm long, orbicular or obovate. Stamens 8; filaments 4-5 mm long, inflexed in bud. Ovary globose, 4-celled. Fruit purplish green, 4-6 x 5-7 mm, globose, smooth, dehiscing irregularly; seeds c. 2.5 mm long.


Its leaves produce the henna or alhenna of the Arabs (cyprus of the ancients), a yellow die which is used in Egypt and elsewhere by women to color their nails, and by men to die their beards, and for other similar uses including horses manes and tails


Central Asia, West Asia and Africa

Flowering & Fruiting :