Ipomoea aquatica, Water spinach, River spinach,Water morning glory

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Ipomoea aquatica, Water spinach seeds

Ipomoea aquatica, also called the water spinach, is a plant species of the family Convolvulaceae. The plant's synonyms include Ipomoea natans, Ipomoea reptans, and Ipomoea sagittaefolia. Common names for the plant include water morning glory, swamp cabbage, river spinach, Chinese watercress, and water convolvulus. Details regarding the origins of Ipomoea aquatica remain inconclusive. Nevertheless, the plant mostly grows in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world.

Ipomoea aquatica can grow to a height of 2 to 3 metres. The plant stem is buoyant and hollow. The leaves are either lanceolate or sagittate and have a length of 5 to 15 cm and a width of 2 to 8 cm. Flowers are white with a lilac-coloured centre. Each flower is trumpet-shaped and has a diameter of 3 to 5 cm.

Ipomoea aquatica is cultivated as a vegetable in many areas of the world, especially in Asia. Southeast Asian cuisine mostly involves stir-frying the vegetable. Countries such as Malaysia and Singapore typically stir-fry the plant’s leaves and tender shoots with a variety of spices. The people of Ipoh and Penang go a step further and add cuttlefish and sweet and sour sauce to the mix. Indonesians blanch Ipomoea aquatica together with other vegetables and boil them to create a mix that finds its use in multiple recipes.

Thai people usually eat various parts of the plant raw and enliven the experience by pairing them with a papaya salad. Alternatively, Thais stir-fry the vegetable in curries. Filipino cuisine involves chopping the leaves and shoots into small bits and stir-frying them in an assortment of spices along with various meats. The eventual dish is called sinigang.
Ipomoea aquatica is an easy plant to grow given all it needs is still water and soils with high moisture content. The plant takes 50 to 60 days to develop and mature.

Growing from seeds:

Those seeds have a really thick seed coat. To speed up germination, it is best to take a file and do some work on the seeds and then just put them into water and let soak until they start to germinate and can be planted. A pond is not necessary but a really wet ground will work fine too.

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