Acacia concinna

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Shikakai morphology, from a plate in book published ~1880
Species name: Acacia concinna

Acacia concinna or Shikakai is used in India in a variety of hair-care products. The bark of the plant contains a high level of Saponins which give the extract a foaming and cleansing characteristic. It belongs to the Acacia genus which has over 1100 members around the world.(AHS Encyclopedia)


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Please note that the above slideshow is automatically created by searching Flickr and does not contain manually curated images. Hence, it is likely that some images may not be exactly of Acacia concinna.


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Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Names of users who have contributed to this species page Gauravm
Date on which this page was first created 2010/06/15
This page was last modified on: 24 November 2010 04:02:47
Name of the species Acacia concinna
ID on Encyclopedia of Life 647774
Synonyms Please check Binomial Classification section for synonyms.
Common English Names Soap pod
Common Hindi Names शिकाकाई Shikakai
Common Indian names Shikakai,शिकाकाई (Hindi);Shikakai,शिकाकाई (Marathi); Shika,Sheekay,Chikaikkai (Tamil); Cheeyakayi, Chinik-kaya, Shikai Cheenikka (Malayalam); Cheekaya, Chikaya, Gogu (Telugu); Sheegae, Shige kayi, Sigeballi (Kannada); Vimala (Oriya); Shikakai (Urdu); Amsikira, Kachuai, Pasoi tenga, Suse lewa (Assamese); Bahuphenarasa, Bhuriphena, Charmakansa, Charmakasa, Phenila (Sanskrit) Flowers of India
Origins/Meanings of the common names Shikakai means "food for the hair. It is called so because extract of the Shikakai fruit has been traditionally used as herbal shampoo. Wikipedia, Gauravm

Taxonomy from Encyclopedia of Life

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{{#EoLOnlyHierarchy:647774}} 

Taxonomy filled in form

Angiosperm phylogeny. This image is copyrighted. Rights owned by Theodore C.H.Cole (Heidelberg) and Hartmut H. Hilger (Berlin) 2010. Please obtain copyright permissions before reuse.
Click here for the PDF of the phylogeny
Taxon Value
Regnum (Kingdom) Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Fabales
Family Fabaceae
Genus Acacia
Source of data '

Other closely related species

SpeciesDivisionCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Aloe veraAloe vera, Medicinal aloe, Burn plantGheekumari घीकुमारी
Acacia niloticaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaAshokaअशोक Ashok
… further results
DivisionTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliophytaAlso called Angiospermae. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms around 245–202 million years ago, and the first flowering plants known to exist are from 140 million years ago. They diversified enormously during the Lower Cretaceous and became widespread around 100 million years ago, but replaced conifers as the dominant trees only around 60-100 million years ago.These are seed plants like Gymnosperms, but can be differentiated by the presence of flowers, seeds containing endosperm and seeds that produce a fruit. Angiosperms are the most diverse and highly evolutionarily successful group of land plants.
SpeciesClassCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Acacia niloticaMagnoliopsidaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaMagnoliopsidaAshokaअशोक Ashok
Adansonia digitataMagnoliopsidaBaobabGorakh imli गोरख इमली
… further results
ClassTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliopsidaMagnoliopsida is the scientific name for dicots. This class contains about ~1,99,350 species of Angiosperms. Eudicots are a subset of Dicots. Based on chloroplast DNA sequences, the divergence date between monocots and dicots is estimated to be ~200 million years, with a 40 million years uncertainty.Dicots are diverse in habit, with half of all the species being more or less woody-stemmed - a reflection of the usual presence of a vascular cambium in the class. Annuals, biennials, vines, epiphytes, aquatics, parasites, and saprotrophs are also well represented in dicots. Vascular bundles of the stem are usually borne in a ring that encloses the pith. Vessel elements present except in some putatively primitive woody or aquatic families. Most dicots have a primary root system derived from the radicle, although some have an adventitious root system commonly seen in the class of monocots. Cotyledons are usually 2, seldom 1, 3, or 4. Leaves are mostly net-veined.
SpeciesOrderCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Acacia niloticaFabalesArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaFabalesAshokaअशोक Ashok
Glycyrrhiza glabraFabalesCultivated Liquorice, Sweetwoodमुलेठी Mulethi
… further results
SpeciesFamilyCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Acacia niloticaFabaceaeArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaFabaceaeAshokaअशोक Ashok
Glycyrrhiza glabraFabaceaeCultivated Liquorice, Sweetwoodमुलेठी Mulethi
… further results
FamilyTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
FabaceaeFabaceae is the third largest family of flowering plants, behind Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species. Found worldwide, this family contains many agronomically important plants such as Soybean, Phaseolus (beans), Green peas, Chickpeas, Alfalfa, Peanut,Carob), and Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice). It has been suggested, based on fossil and phylogenetic evidence, that legumes originally evolved in arid and/or semi-arid regions along the Tethys seaway during the early Tertiary (Schrire2005). However, others contend that Africa (or even the Americas) cannot yet be ruled out as the origin of the family (Pan2010).The leaves are stipulate, nearly always alternate, and range from pinnately or palmately compound to simple. Like the other legume families the petiole base is commonly enlarged into a pulvinus. The flowers are slightly to strongly perigynous, zygomorphic, and commonly in racemes, spikes, or heads. The perianth commonly consists of a calyx and corolla of 5 segments each. The petals are overlapping (imbricate) in bud with the posterior petal (called the banner or flag) outermost (i.e., exterior) in position. The petals are basically distinct except for variable connation of the two lowermost ones called the keel petals. The lateral petals are often called the wings. The androecium most commonly consists of 10 stamens in two groups (i.e., they are diadelphous with 9 stamens in one bundle and the 10th stamen more or less distinct). The pistil is simple, comprising a single style and stigma, and a superior ovary with one locule containing 2-many marginal ovules. The fruit is usually a legume. (Source:Hawaii Botany)
SpeciesGenusCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Acacia niloticaAcaciaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Acacia catechuAcaciaCutch Tree, black catechu, black cutch, cashoo, catechu, wadalee gumदन्त धावन dant-dhavan, गायत्रिन् gayatrin, खैर khair, खयर khayar, मदन madan, पथिद्रुम pathi-drum, पयोर payor, प्रियसख priya-sakh
Acacia sinuataAcaciaPiquant SappanShikakai
… further results

Based on classification

FamilyTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
FabaceaeFabaceae is the third largest family of flowering plants, behind Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species. Found worldwide, this family contains many agronomically important plants such as Soybean, Phaseolus (beans), Green peas, Chickpeas, Alfalfa, Peanut,Carob), and Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice). It has been suggested, based on fossil and phylogenetic evidence, that legumes originally evolved in arid and/or semi-arid regions along the Tethys seaway during the early Tertiary (Schrire2005). However, others contend that Africa (or even the Americas) cannot yet be ruled out as the origin of the family (Pan2010).The leaves are stipulate, nearly always alternate, and range from pinnately or palmately compound to simple. Like the other legume families the petiole base is commonly enlarged into a pulvinus. The flowers are slightly to strongly perigynous, zygomorphic, and commonly in racemes, spikes, or heads. The perianth commonly consists of a calyx and corolla of 5 segments each. The petals are overlapping (imbricate) in bud with the posterior petal (called the banner or flag) outermost (i.e., exterior) in position. The petals are basically distinct except for variable connation of the two lowermost ones called the keel petals. The lateral petals are often called the wings. The androecium most commonly consists of 10 stamens in two groups (i.e., they are diadelphous with 9 stamens in one bundle and the 10th stamen more or less distinct). The pistil is simple, comprising a single style and stigma, and a superior ovary with one locule containing 2-many marginal ovules. The fruit is usually a legume. (Source:Hawaii Botany)

More details can be found in the Binomial Classification section.

Morphology from Encyclopedia of Life

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{{#EoLOnlyDescription:647774}} 

General morphology

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General morphological features of the plant The plant is a climbing shrub having a thorny branch. Thorns are short and broad-based. Flowers of India
Seed dispersal mechanism
Bloom type FoI, Wiki
Life cycle of the plant

How to identify this species

For a detailed description, refer to the General Morphology details above

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Type of plant Woody (Tree/Shrub)
Plant height 3 feet to 6 feet Google Images
Flower color Pink FoI
Flower shape
Floral symmetry
Phyllotaxy of leaves
Leaf shape
Is the leaf petiolated or sessile?
Is the leaf simple or compound?

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
IUCN Conservation Status Not Evaluated EoL
Indian States in which the species has been documented Assam,Andhra Pradesh,Arunachal Pradesh,Bihar,Delhi,Goa,Gujarat,Karnataka,Kerala,Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra,Manipur,Meghalaya,Mizoram,Nagaland,Orissa,Pondicherry,Punjab,Rajasthan,Sikkim,Tamil Nadu,Tripura,Uttar Pradesh,West Bengal ILDIS
Locations at which the species has been documented
Biotic zones inhabited Northeastern Himalayas, Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats, Central Deccan Plateau, East Coast, West Coast, Indo-Gangetic Plain Based on ILDIS
Details about the habitat Rain forest, disturbed forest, open grassland, fields, creek sides, in open areas often a sprawling shrub; also recorded from limestone; altitude 50-1050 m Neilson92
Is this species native to India? Yes Wiki
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Sub-Himalayan regions? No Based on ILDIS
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Western Ghats? No Based on ILDIS
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Eastern Ghats? No Based on ILDIS

More plants native to India

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi namePlant typeNative plantBiotic zone
Acacia concinnaSoap podशिकाकाई ShikakaiWoody (Tree/Shrub)Northeastern Himalayas
Eastern Ghats
Western Ghats
Central Deccan Plateau
East Coast
West Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
Acrostichum aureumGolden leatherfern, Mangrove fernFernNortheastern Himalayas
Eastern Ghats
East Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
Outlying Islands
Artocarpus heterophyllusJackfruitकटहलWoody (Tree/Shrub)
Boerhavia diffusaRed hogweed, Tar Vine, Red Spiderling, WineflowerPunarnava, SathaHerb
Jasminum officinaleCommon Jasmine, Poet's Jasmine, Spanish Jasmineचमेली ChameliWoody (Tree/Shrub)Eastern Ghats
Western Ghats
Central Deccan Plateau
East Coast
West Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
… further results


Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Does this species have any medicinal use? Yes

Other plants of the same family having medicinal use:

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi nameFamilyAilment typeMedicinal use description
Acacia concinnaSoap podशिकाकाई ShikakaiFabaceaeInfectious diseases
Organ-specific disorders
The saponins produced from the fruit have a mildly low pH and detergent action, which gives them antibacterial cleansing properties. Decoction of the leaves acts as a purgative and is used to relieve malaria. An ointment prepared from ground pods is used as a skin cream.
Acacia niloticaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर KikarFabaceaeInfectious diseases
Glycyrrhiza glabraCultivated Liquorice, Sweetwoodमुलेठी MulethiFabaceaeInfectious diseases
Pains and Inflammation
Systemic disorders
Organ-specific disorders
Cancer
Root is sweet, refrigerant, tonic, aphrodisiac, alexeteric, diuretic; good for eye; improves taste; lessens hiccups, vomiting; heals ulcers, wounds; improves voice; purifies blood; used in leprosy, anemia; abdominal pains, epilesy (Ayurveda). The root relieves thirst, cough, vomiting, asthma, bronchistis, abdominal colic, headache; cures eye troubles, unhealthy humours, ulcers. Leaves are used for scalds of the head, and in foul perspiration of the armpits (Unani).
… further results
Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General types of ailments this species is used for treating Infectious diseases, Organ-specific disorders
Specific ailments for which the species is used Skin diseases, Malaria, Dandruff control FoI, Wiki
Medicinal systems which use this plant Ayurveda, Folk Medicine FoI, Wiki
Details of Medicinal use The saponins produced from the fruit have a mildly low pH and detergent action, which gives them antibacterial cleansing properties. Decoction of the leaves acts as a purgative and is used to relieve malaria. An ointment prepared from ground pods is used as a skin cream. FoI
Parts of the plant used for treatment Leaves, Fruit
Names of some medicinal active compounds in this plant, if known.
Details of the active chemical compounds found in this plant
Is the molecular basis of the medicinal action known?
Details of molecular basis of action
Are the toxic effects of consumption of this plant known?
Details of the toxic effects of the plant species
Have there been validation/clinical studies related to this plant?
Details of the clinical studies related to the plant species

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant/plant-derived product used in food preparations? No User-reported
Part(s) of the plant used in the food preparations
Details of use in food preparations
Does this species have any religious significance? No User-reported
Religions which mention/give significance to this species Google Images
Religious occasions
Details of religious use

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant cultivated commercially in India? Yes Gauravm
Uses for which the plant is commercially cultivated Medicinal use, Cosmetic use, Other use
Plant parts of commercial value
Products where this plant is used User-reported
Description of use Used in shampoos and hair conditioners. The plant parts used for the dry powdered or the extract are the bark, leaves or pods. The bark contains high levels of saponins, which are foaming agents that are found in several other plant species. Saponin-containing plants have a long history of use as mild cleaning agents. Saponins from the plant's pods have been traditionally used as a detergent, and in Bengal for poisoning fish; they are documented to be potent marine toxins.

In commercial extracts, when the plant is hydrolyzed it yields lupeol, spinasterol, acacic acid, lactone, and the natural sugars glucose, arabinose and rhamnose. It also contains hexacosanol and spinasterone. The saponin of the bark has spermicidal activity against human semen. It appears to have a hormonal effect, leading to its use for contraceptive purposes.

The leaves have an acidic taste and are used in chutneys. They contain oxalic, tartaric, citric, succinic and ascorbic acids, as well as two alkaloids, calyctomine and nicotine. An infusion of the leaves has been used in anti-dandruff preparations. Extracts of the ground pods have been used for various skin diseases.

FoI, Gauravm,Wiki
States where this plant is cultivated commercially
Best period for planting this plant
Best period for harvesting this plant All year round
Method of propagation Seeds, Vegetative propagation AHS Encyclopedia
Water requirement of this plant
Pests and Diseases affecting this plant during cultivation Spider mites, Mimosa webworms, scale insects, fungal leaf spots, Heart rot (caused by Armillaria), Root rot (caused by Ganoderma) AHS Encyclopedia
Other considerations while cultivating this plant Under glass, plants should be grown in potting mix in full light, plenty of water in growing season and sparing amounts in winter. Outdoors, the plants can be grown in moderately fertile, neutral to acidic soil in full sun. Hard pruning should be avoided.

Seeds can be sown in spring when the temperature is more than 18C after soaking in warm water until swollen. Semi ripe root cuttings can be planted in summer.

AHS Encyclopedia


Pubmed Word cloud

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  • If there is an error message below, it means that there is no retrievable information available on NCBI
  • If the number of nucleotide sequences is less than 100, very little genomic work has been done on this species. A respectable number of nucleotide sequences is above 10000.
  • Most of the nucleotide sequences may come from three sources:
  1. Studies on single genes, where people try to sequence genes such as some specific dehydrogenases important,say, for tannin production
  2. Sequences of Ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer, whose sequence is used for generating molecular phylogenetic trees to establish species relationships
  3. Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) which can tell about which genes are present and expressed in the species at a particular time in the given tissue

{{#queryDB:taxonomy |Acacia concinna }}

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Details of modern scientific knowledge available for this species Saponins extracted from A concinna have been reported to have spermicidal activities (Pakrashi et al, 1991), immunological adjuvant activities (Kukhetpitakwong et al, 2006) and anti-cancer, cytotoxic activities (Tezuka et al, 2000) Inline references
Are herbarium specimen available for this species?
Institutes having herbarium samples

References

Pakrashi (Journal) : Pakrashi et al (May 1991),Sperm immobilizing effect of triterpene saponins from Acacia auriculiformis, Contraception:43(5):475. doi=10.1016/0010-7824(91)90137-5


Kukhetpitakwong (Journal) : Kukhetpitakwong et al (2006),Immunological adjuvant activities of saponin extracts from the pods of Acacia concinna, International Immunopharmacology:6(11):1729. doi=10.1016/j.intimp.2006.08.004


Tezuka (Journal) : Tezuka et al (2000),Kinmoonosides A−C, Three New Cytotoxic Saponins from the Fruits of Acacia concinna, a Medicinal Plant Collected in Myanmar, J Nat Prod:63(12):1658. doi=10.1021/np000347f


AHS Encyclopedia (Book) : American Horticultural Society (2004),', ISBN: 9780756649159


FoI (Web): Flowers of India, Accessdate=2010-06-23


ILDIS (Web): International Legume Database, Accessdate=2010-06-23