He emigrated to Australia and was employed as an assistant to the colonial botanist Ferdinand von Mueller at the Melbourne Herbarium. He collected six cases of plants when employed as a botanist on the Burke and Wills rescue expedition. Frederick Manson Bailey lists twelve species of plants in the Queensland herbarium, collected by Henne.
The botanist Joseph Maiden wrote of Henne, "He was conveyed in the Victorian warship Victoria (Captain Norman) from Melbourne to Brisbane, thence to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Landsborough established his main camp or depot at Sweer's Island, went up the Albert River to the junction of Norman River, and established a depot at the hulk of the Firefly at this spot". Maiden also wrote "I have seen letters which show how highly Baron von Mueller held him in esteem for his personal qualities."
Henne collected the type specimen of the Deciduous Fig at Booby Island, in September 1861.
It was named Ficus henneana in his honour, by Friedrich Miquel. Henne's diary (in German) is housed at the Mitchell library. He died in Sydney aged 78.