The seed contains between 18 and 35% of an edible semi-drying oil. It is rather similar to groundnut oil, obtained from Arachis hypogaea. The oil is also used for burning, as a lubricant and in making soap, linoleum, paints and varnishes. The seed yield varies from 2 to 10 tonnes per acre (or is it per hectare?). The stems have been used as plant supports for growing runner beans etc. The soot from the stems has been used as a black pigment in dyes.The stem has been used as a base for drilling fire.
The seeds are aphrodisiac. They are added to the diet in order to promote weight increase. Externally, they are used as a poultice on pains and bruises. The leaves are purgative. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs. In Ayurvedic medicine, the leaves are used in the treatment of dysentery and bilious, blood and throat disorders. The powdered leaves are applied to Guinea worms in Africa.The peelings from the stems have been used in the treatment of anaemia, fatigue, lassitude, etc.
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Kenaf is widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world, where it is grown mainly as a fibre crop but also for its seeds and leaves. It is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, it really requires a frost free climate. It can, however, probably be grown as an annual. A fast-growing plant, it can be harvested in 3 - 4 months from seed. The plant requires temperatures in the range of 15 - 25°c. It succeeds as a crop as far north in N. America as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Plants are daylight sensitive, they remain vegetative and do not flower until the daylength is less than 12.5 hr/day. Two weeks of very cloudy days will induce flowering as daylength approaches 12.5 hr. The plant has a deep-penetrating taproot with deep-seated laterals.Plants, including any varieties, are partially self-fertile.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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