Henna (ThursdayTreeLove)

Today I have a Shrub instead of a Tree but I am sure all of you will enjoy this plant!

The title has been the spoiler so no surprises about the identity.

Yes, these delicate flowers are of the Henna or Mehendi plant. Botanically called Lawsonia inermis, it belongs to the Lythraceae family (that is the family of Crape Myrtles). It is a native and evergreen species.

In my childhood days, I remember it was grown as a hedge plant – I was told that the leaves are bitter hence goats, cows stayed away. However neighbourhood girls always managed to pluck the leaves, grind them on stones and apply the paste on our hands. The red colour was sufficient attraction.. the design was simple – a circle in the centre of the palm and capping the ends of the fingers. There was no thought of making designs.

That’s my plant.. still very young..
Fruit of Mehendi

I do remember we used to put a dot on the forehead.. this is one part where Mehendi does not colour the skin.. the story was if the forehead skin took up the colour then that girl would be a Queen!

No… mine never did colour!

Over the years, this way of putting Mehendi has ended.. readymade Mehendi cones have replaced ground leaves and designs are elaborate.

I am not complaining.. I love the colour and the fragrance that Mehendi leaves on our hands!

Besides India, Mehendi is also used as body art is several countries. We also use it as a hair conditioner and to colour hair.

Here are a few images of Mehendi as body art.

On the top left, the artist is at work! The Peacock and Lotus are popular design elements.

I am sure most of you would be familiar with Henna/Mehendi .. Have you seen the shrub?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

13 Replies to “Henna (ThursdayTreeLove)”

  1. I have never knowingly seen the shrub. Interestingly, an evergreen in the crepe myrtle family because our decorative crepe myrtles (not hardy where I live) are not evergreen. Henna decorations are popular here in the northeast United States at certain festivals. There was a store in our indoor mall that would also offer them from time to time.

  2. Ah nice! we have a Henna plant in our premises and I’d been thinking of posting it!
    I’d never seen the flowers though..lovely capture Archana πŸ™‚

  3. Yes i remember this tree, as children we would pluck these leaves grind and as you rightly mentioned no great designs just round circles would look so beautiful… the darker the color the more loved by our husbands was the sayings:) its funny when i think about these things… thanks for sharing.. I don’t see these trees now.

    1. @Angela.. Yes. .I too have heard this tale of henna colour being directly proportional to husbands love πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thanks for reminding me of it! Have a great day!

  4. As a kid I have plucked leaves from the plant and I love the fragrance of the leaves and ofcourse mehendi. It’s beautiful and so glad you shared this. It’s been decades I have seen the shrub so seeing it o this post brought a smile. Thank you and hope to see you tomorrow.

  5. Heena or mehndi leaves have got a lovely addictive fragrance which I love a lot. I had always loved to be near this shrub when I had this near my maternal house. You bought fond memories, but now rarely get to see it. The lady in that house used fresh green as a hair dye too then. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful closeup pic.

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