Kenaf, an herbanceous plant cultivated for its fiber. It grows in semiarid climates and is capable of withstanding drought. Kenaf is a fast-growing plant, reaching a height of up to 15 feet (4.6 m) in 150 days. It is grown from seed and must be replanted annually. The flower is typically yellow with a redish center. Some kenaf leaves are heartshaped; others have long lobes.
The stalk yields two kinds of fiber, both with commercial value. Short fibers, from the core of the stalk, are used in the in making such products as twine and rope. Longer fibers, from the outer portions of the stalk, are used in the manufacture of packing materials, paper, and animal bedding, and as a filler material in various products.
Kenaf is native to east and central Africa. It is now grown commercially in many countries, with China the leading producer. In the United States kenaf is grown in several Southern states.
Kenaf is Hibiscus cannabinus, of the family Malvaceae.