Acacia concinna - Shikakai, Hair Fruit Seeds

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Botanical nomenclature: Acacia concinna
Common name: Shikakai, Hair Fruit
Family: Fabaceae


Widely distributed across the Indian sub-continent, this is a climbing thorn bush, well known locally for its use in traditional medicine. An infusion from the plant is used as a mild anti-dandruff shampoo and, whilst lacking the lather of traditional chemical shampoo, it does not strip the oil from the hair and scalp. The thorny stems climb and scramble over and through other plants. The leaves are pinnate, typical of that seen in the Acacia family. It flowers in late Spring and early Summer, these are quite striking with white powder puff like petals appearing from crimson buds. These are followed by seed pods containing hard coated seeds. The flowers are very attractive to bees and provide an early season source of nectar for them. It can be grown in many garden settings and is hardy in Zones 8- 11, making it suitable for many temperate gardens, especially if grown against a warm wall. Smaller growing than many species, this makes it ideal for smaller gardens or container growing.

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