The seeds I bought were few, so I was really excited when these two plants grew and flourished. No extra water or fertlizer. They fell over, but kept right on growing. One plant has more "pot" looking leaves, the other plant has more heart shaped. I'll be keeping seeds from both. Because growing a plant that looks like a pot plant (especially in my county) is a major concern of mine, I'll be planting the heart shaped leaves next season, if my seeds ripen. Below are the two plants, one in front of the other. Well over 20ft tall, with beautiful huge light yellow flowers.
My online research shows this plant is used for its oil (seeds), fiber (stalks), and food. Much research is being done to see if it warrants replacing the tree paper industry. VERY easy to grow.
Kenaf is a 4,000 year old NEW crop with roots in ancient Africa.
While the flowering can last 3 to 4 weeks, or more, per plant, each individual flower blooms for only one day. The stalk of the kenaf plant consists of two distinct fiber types.
Upon harvest, the whole kenaf plant is processed in a mechanical fiber separator, similar to a cotton gin. The separation of the two fibers allows for independent processing and provides raw materials for a growing number of products including paper, particle board, animal bedding and bioremediation aids.
At the end of the growing season, the kenaf plant flowers. After blooming the flower drops off, leaving a seed pod behind. In almost all parts of the U.S. the seeds can never mature. Because of their African origin they require an additional 60-90 days of frost free conditions to reach the point of germination. This means kenaf cannot run wild across the country like a weed. It also presents some interesting challenges for developers to insure a consistent supply of seed for next year's crop. Much research work is being done in the area of seed development, with leading edge companies like Vision Paper developing innovative and environmentally sound solutions.
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