Lawsonia inermis

Lawsonia inermis

Lawsonia inermis image

(Henna)

FAMILY

Lythraceae

Species

Lawsonia inermis

Common name

Henna

Flower colour; life form

Flowers white to cream; small tree, shrub

Campus

Townsville

Description

This small tree or multi-branched shrub is related to the Crepe Myrtles. Stems often appear twisted, bark often flaky; the broadly lanceolate leaves are simple and alternately arranged on the stem. Flowers in terminal panicles, fragrant, petals free, white to cream. Capsules globular to 2.5 cm diameter at maturity, persistent. If you are growing this tree for its flowers then you need to cut off the capsules after flowering. The dry leaves when powdered and made into a paste are used as the dye 'henna'. Flowers at first glance may be confused with Bursaria sp.(Mock orange) but the leaves and capsules are quite different.