Hibiscus Cannabinus (Kenaf)

Hibiscus Cannabinus (Kenaf / Almari)
AgroGeek Mon, 03/03/2014 - 04:40

Kenaf (this name is originated from Persian language) which has it's scientific name as Hibiscus Cannabinus is a plant in the Malvaceae family. It's also popular with the name of Ambari or Ambadi and has more then 129 common names in total in different regions worldwide. This is a fibre plant and fibre derived from this plant is also called "Kenaf". It's one of the associated fibre of Jute and shows similar characteristics.

Hibiscus Cannabinus (Kenaf) is a herbaceous plant and is in the genus Hibiscus. A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground. Herbaceous plants may be annuals, biennials or perennials. In the case of Kenaf, it is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant but rarely found as a short lived perennial plant.

This plant generally grows to 1.5 to 3.5 meter tall with a woody base. Kenaf grows quickly, rising to heights of 12-14 feet in as little as 4 to 5 months. Stem of Ambari or Kenaf is 1-2 cm in diameter and often has branches but not always. The leaves are 10–15 cm long, variable fit as a fiddle, with leaves close to the base of the stems being profoundly lobed with 3-7 flaps, while leaves close to the highest point of the stem are shallowly lobed or unlobed lanceolate. The blooms are 8–15 cm distance across, white, yellow, or purple; when white or yellow, the focal point is still dull purple. The soil grown foods is a case 2 cm breadth, holding some seeds.

There are numerous variations of kenaf, and certain varieties will perform better in specific areas, or under specific conditions as compared to other varieties.

The diverse varieties of kenaf have distinctive blossoming calendars. Some varieties bloom sooner than others. Generally, the blooming will keep going 3 to 4 weeks, or more, for every plant, and every individual bloom sprouts for one and only day.

The stalk of the kenaf plant comprises of two dissimilar fiber sorts. The external fiber is called "bast" and involves about 40% of the stalk's dry weight. The refined bast filaments (fibers) measure 2.6mm and are like the best softwood fibers used to make paper.

The whiter, internal fiber is called "core", and involves 60% of the stalk's dry weight. These refined strands measure .6mm and are equivalent to hardwood tree fibers, which are utilized as a part of a broader range of paper items.

At the closure of the developing season, the kenaf plant blooms. In the wake of blossoming the flower drops off, abandoning a seed pod. In most parts of the U.S. the seeds won't develop. While there are certain varieties of kenaf that blossom early, the biomass processing of those varieties is not generous enough to give fiber economically. Because of their African origin they require an extra 60-90 days of frost free conditions to achieve the purpose of germination. This means kenaf can't run wild in the US like a weed.

Fibre in Hibiscus Cannabinus (Kenaf)
The fibres in kenaf are found in the bast (bark) and center (wood). The bast constitutes 40% of the plant. These fibres are long (2 – 6 mm) and thin. The unit divider is thick (6.3 µm). The center is something like 60% of the plant and has thick (ø 38 µm) however short (0.5 mm) and dainty walled (3 µm) fibres. Since the paper mash is processed from the entire stem, the fibre dissemination is bimodal. The mash quality is like hardwood. U.s. Bureau of Agriculture studies demonstrate that kenaf yields of 6 to 10 tons of dry fiber for every plot of land equal to 1 acre per year are usually 3 to 5 times more significant in extent than the yield for Southern pine trees, which can take from 7 to 40 years to achieve harvestable size.

Upon harvest, the entire kenaf plant might be transformed in a mechanical fiber separator, like a cotton gin. The division of the two fibers takes into account autonomous preparing and gives crude materials to a developing number of items including paper, particle board, animal bedding and bioremediation aids.

Territory & Spread

Although the exact natural origion is not known but is probably native to India and is spread in Africa too. The plant is best developed in tropics and to some degree in sub-tropics. Kenaf grow very nearly all over the world both in tropical and mild ranges, it is sensitive to frost. In India, kenaf is grown often as a border or fencing crop in garden areas where the soil is loamy and bears great waste of water. It is grown as intercrop with most cereals in dry lands or as an individual crop. Kenaf is an imperative fibre crop in South India. It is developed as a rainfed crop in extensive areas in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is sown on the bunds of watering system diverts and in little patches in garden lands.

Climate
Kenaf cultivation requires specific climate and land. It requires early rains in March, May and June and intermittent rain and sunlight thereafter till August, temperature between 28°C and 35°C and humidity between 70% and 90%. This type of climate is available in areas between 30° Latitude North and South of the earth.

Soil
One of kenaf’s advantages as a crop, is it can be successfully grown in a wide range of soil types, from high organic peat soils to sandy desert soils. Although kenaf grows better on well-drained, fertile soils with a neutral pH, the crop can withstand late season flooding, low soil fertility, and a wide range of soil pH values. Kenaf also has shown excellent tolerance to drought conditions.

Uses of Kenaf / Ambari
Kenaf is a very useful plant. It's main produce is it's fibre and seeds. It offers an approach to make paper without cutting trees. Kenaf is mainly cultivated for it's fibre in India, Bangladesh, USA, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand and parts of Africa and Europe. Stems of Kenaf produces two types of fibre, a coarser fibre in the outer layer and a fine fibre in the core or center part. Maturity period of Kenaf is 100 to 200 days. Kenaf fibre is mainly used for rope, twine, coarse cloth and paper. It is also used for animal bedding and feed. Now area of Kenaf fibre uses is broadning and it's also being used for engineered wood, insulation, clothing-grade cloth, soil less potting mixes, packing material.

Kenaf seeds yield an edible vegetable oil. The Kenaf seed oil is also used for cosmetics, industrial lubricants and for biofuel production. Kenaf oil is high in Omega polyunsaturated fatty acids which are now known to help in keeping humans healthy. Kenaf Seed oil is 20.4% of the total seed weight which is similar to cotton seed.

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