Lawsonia inermis

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Lawsonia inermis L.

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Ordre Myrtales
Famille Lythraceae
Genre Lawsonia

2n =

Origine : Iran, Inde

sauvage ou cultivé

Français henné
Anglais henna

Résumé des usages
  • teinture corporelle
  • plante tannante
  • médicinal
  • fleurs ornementales
  • huile essentielle des fleurs
  • plante magique


Noms populaires

français henné ; réséda France, réséda-pays (Rollet)
anglais henna, Egyptian privet ; reseda, mignonette-tree (Rollet)
portugais hena, hésia
swahili mhina, muhina


Lawsonia inermis L. (1753)




Widely cultivated in Near East, Middle Asia, SE Asia, S China, Japan, Philippines, N and SE Africa, tropical America. In these regions also often escaped from cultivation and naturalized. Today, the main areas of cultivation are India, Egypt and Sudan. Important crop also in N Australia, Pakistan, Madagaskar and Iran. Already cultivated in old Egypt. From the leaves a powder is produced, which is used for staining hands, finger-nails and feet red. Also hairs, beard and eye brows are stained. Formerly important for dyeing wool, silk and clothes, in mixture with other dyestuff different colours were obtained. After introduction of synthetic dyes henna lost its importance. Henna is also antiseptic and used prophylactically against skin diseases, e.g. in Afghanistan for this purpose the eye-lids are stained. The leaves are antiinflammatory. From the flowers an essential oil is obtained (henna or mehndi oil) for cosmetical use. The root is used in folk medicine. Also ornamental plant.



  • Aubaile-Sallenave, Françoise, 1982. Les voyages du Henné. Journal d'agriculture traditionnelle et de botanique appliquée, 29(2) : 123-178. doi : 10.3406/jatba.1982.3866, Persée.
  • Bekele-Tesemma, Azene, 2007. Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia. Identification, propagation and management for 17 agroclimatic zones. Nairobi, ICRAF - RELMA. 550 p. (Technical Manual 6). Voir l'article
  • Dodinet, Elisabeth, 2001. Histoire des aromates à usage thérapeutique et cosmétologique dans l'Ancien Testament. Mémoire Ecole des Plantes. 432 p.
  • Gast, Marceau, 2000. « Henné », Encyclopédie berbère, 22. Openedition
  • Rollet, Bernard et coll., 2010. Arbres des Petites Antilles. Tome 1 : Introduction à la dendrologie. 276 p. Tome 2 : Description des espèces. 866 p. + 46 pl. coul. + CD de photos sur l'anatomie du bois. Basse-Terre, ONF. Voir sur Pl@ntUse.