HENNA (כֹּ֤פֶר). In the RSV, camphire is called henna flowers. Camphire, a shrub called the Egyp. Privet, is mentioned in Song of Solomon and 4:13. It is Lawsonia inermis, a rose-scented, pink-flowered shrub, widely cultivated in the E as a dye plant. The leaves are powdered and made into paste, or the foliage is exported and used in cosmetics. The Heb. kōper is called “kenna” in Egypt and “henna” in Persia, and it is known by this name in Eng.-speaking countries. Moffatt’s tr. of Song of Solomon 1:14, “My darling is my bunch of henna blossom” is very realistic.
Henna was used to color fingernails, toenails, and even the tips of fingers, red or orange. It was used on men’s beards, and the manes and tails of horses, and even the soles of girls’ feet.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
An aromatic plant.