Botanical Name: Lawsonia Inermis
Henna is a tall shrub or small tree, standing 6 to 25 ft.
The plant is a tall shrub or small tree, with multiple branches, growing up to 6 meters in ideal conditions. The green leaves are elliptical and approximately 5 cm long by 1.5cm wide. Henna flowers are delicate and petite with four petals and elongated stamens. Although usually white, they can be red, pink or a variety of other colours depending on the variety. The white, red and pink forms have a sweet, jasmine like fragrance. The fruits are small, brown capsules with 30-50 seeds per fruit.
After heavy rain, the plant grows rapidly and then slows during the dry period. In long dry periods, or cooler periods, the leaves may yellow and drop off but the plant will usually recover and can be pruned to help appearances. Henna does not do well in temperatures below 10 degrees C. In temperatures below 5 degrees C, the plant will usually die. Unfortunately, henna is not well suited to areas with cool winters and frost.
You can also grow the henna plant indoors as a houseplant. It needs to be kept in the sunniest place possible and plan on it getting about 8 feet tall in five years.
Whole, unbroken henna leaves will not stain the skin/hair. Henna will not stain until the lawsone molecules are released from the henna leaf. Dried henna leaves will stain if they are mashed into a paste.