Acacia concinna (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Acacia concinna (Willd.) DC.

Protologue: Prodr. 2: 464 (1825).


Acacia rugata (Lamk) Buch.-Ham. ex Benth. (1842), Acacia sinuata (Lour.) Merr. (1935).

Vernacular names

  • Soap pod tree (En)
  • Indonesia: kate-kate kecil (Moluccas), gongai (Banda)
  • Cambodia: bânla: sâ-‘öt, ba:y dâmna:ëb
  • Laos: ‘sôm2po:y1
  • Thailand: som khon, som poi (northern)
  • Vietnam: keo lá me.


A. concinna is widely distributed in tropical Asia and occurs throughout South-East Asia.


In India and Thailand, a decoction of young leaves is taken for body pain, headache and fever. A decoction of the pods is said to relieve biliousness and acts as a purgative. The pods are in great demand in India as an Ayurvedic product for promoting hair growth and to remove dandruff; they are sold dried and as powder in the market. They have emetic, laxative and diuretic properties and are ingested to treat constipation and kidney and bladder affections. The seeds are used externally in Thailand and India to treat skin diseases. A. concinna is used as a hedge plant in Indonesia, whereas the tips of stems are occasionally eaten as a vegetable. In India, tender leaves are used in chutneys; they are acidic. The fruits are sometimes used in cooking in the Philippines. The dried pods are steeped in scented water for ablution during the Water Festival and New Year celebration in Thailand.


An erect, spreading or scrambling shrub or liana, up to 18(-30) m long; leaflets membranous, lateral veins of leaflets forming a reticulate pattern beneath, glands on petiole and rachis circular to elliptical; flower glomerules 7-12 mm in diameter; pod oblong, often with constrictions, 4.5-15 cm × 1.5-2 cm. A. concinna occurs in primary and secondary rain forests, often at riversides, also in forest margins and clearings, up to 1000 m altitude.

Selected sources

247, 249, 250, 263, 334, 760, 778, 833, 922.

Main genus page


S. Aggarwal