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henna, name for a reddish or black hair dye obtained from the powdered leaves and young shoots of the mignonette tree, or henna shrub (Lawsonia inermis), an Old World shrub of the loosestrife family. Henna dye has long been in use, as evidenced by Egyptian mummies; the dye is also to decorate the skin with designs.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
a reddish yellow dye obtained from the leaves of the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis). Henna is used for dying wool and silk fabrics reddish brown; the dye is light-fast, and is also used for dying hair and coloring nails.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Lawsonia inermis. An Old World plant having small opposite leaves and axillary panicles of white flowers; a reddish-brown dye extracted from the leaves is used in hair dyes. Also known as Egyptian henna.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. a lythraceous shrub or tree, Lawsonia inermis, of Asia and N Africa, with white or reddish fragrant flowers
2. a reddish-brown or brown colour
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005