Acacia concinna

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Acacia concinna DC.
  • Synonyms : Acacia sinuata (Lour.) Merr.
  • Common Name : Shikakai, Soap-Pod
  • Plant Family : Mimosaceae
  • Plant Form : Shrub
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Ayurvedic Udyan

About Acacia concinna Plant :

  • Habit : A large climbing shrub with numerous hooked prickles scattered through the branches and rachis of leaves.
  • Bark : Pale-brown, polished.
  • Leaves : Bipinnate, spiny on the rachis, but not on the stipules, with a large gland at about the middle of the petiole below the pinnae and one between the uppermost or two uppermost pairs of pinnae, leaflets 12-25 pairs.
  • Inflorescence :
    • It is a cluster of 2 or 3 stalked rounded flower-heads in axils of upper reduced leaves, appearing paniculate i.e. forming panicles.
    • Stalk (peduncles) carrying the cluster is 1-2.5 cm long, velvety.
    • Flower-heads about 1 cm in diameter when mature.
  • Flowers : White or yellowish, complete, actinomorphic, hermaphrodite.
  • Fruits : Pods thick and fleshy, 7-12 cm long, 1.8-2.8 cm broad, somewhat constricted between seeds, becoming wrinkled when dry.
  • Seeds : 6-10
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time :August - October - November
  • Significance :
    • Fruits are used in soap preparations because they have a naturally mild pH, that gently cleans the hair without stripping it of natural oils.
    • It is used as shampoo and for washing warm-silky clothes.
    • It is used to control dandruff, promoting hair growth and strengthening hair roots.
    •  Its leaves are used in malarial fever, decoction of the pods are used to relieve biliousness and acts as a purgative.
    • An ointment, prepared from the ground pods, is good for skin diseases.