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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ORGANIC AND REDUCED INPUT FRESH MARKET SPECIALTY CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS Title: United States kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) cultivar review

Authors
item Webber, Charles
item Bledsoe, Venita -
item Bledsoe, Robert -

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 2010
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Citation: Webber III, C.L., Robert, V.K., Bledsoe, R.E. 2011. United States kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) cultivar review. In: Webber, C.L. III, Liu, A., editors. Plant Fibers as Renewable Feedstocks for Biofuel and Bio-based Products. CCG International, Incorporated. p. 117-126.

Interpretive Summary: Kenaf is a warm season annual fiber crop closely related to cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and okra [Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench] that can be successfully produced in a large portion of the United States, particularly in the southern states. For over 6000 years kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L., Malvaceae) was primarily used as a cordage crop and secondarily as a livestock feed. Research and development work in the 1990's demonstrated the plant's usefulness in building materials (particle boards of various densities, thicknesses, and fire and insect resistances), adsorbents, bioremediation, textiles, livestock feed, and fibers in new and recycled plastics (injected molded and extruded). Current research is investigating kenaf for use as a biofuel, in biodegradable composites, and as a laminating adhesive. Most recently, kenaf is under consideration as a biofuel feedstock and solution for cleaning up major oil spills. Certain cultivars are better suited for specific uses. Cultivars are developed for specific production locations, selection for favorable yield components, and to compensate for specific pest threats.

Technical Abstract: Cultivar selection is an important aspect for successful commercial production of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.). Maximizing production and processing efficiency of a specific kenaf crop is dependent on production location and cultural aspects, and differences in yield components among kenaf cultivars. Yield components of the most common United States’ cultivars have been investigated. Certain cultivars are better suited for specific uses. Cultivars are developed for specific production locations, selection for favorable yield components, and to compensate for specific pest threats.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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