Known as Gerber-Akazie [tanner's acacia] in German and Acacia catechu in Latin, the plant also goes by the name of catechu acacia, catechu or just plain cutch. It is a small species of the Acacia genus, and grows in southern Asia.
The plant has hooklike branches that grow in pairs, as well as paired pinnated leaves. The white and yellow flowers come in fours, expanding into ears measuring 10 cm, which then give way to flat husks.
The bark yields an adstringent substance which is used in medicine and for tanning. The drug obtained from the plant is used in the medical treatment of diarrhoea and inflammations of the oral cavity.
The cutch tree, or Indian tanner's acacia, is an important cosmetic ingredient, yielding a light brown powder that can be used as a hair dye.
The plant is not hardy enough to withstand a Central European winter.