water spinach, kangkong, swamp morning-glory
Could be confused with
cosmopolitan, warm regions of world
Species commonly cultivated
Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. (Old World)
Identification: No single diagnostic feature distinguishes Ipomoea aquatica. Rather, a combination of features may help to distinguish it from other, particularly aquatic, species in the genus: With milky sap. Stems hollow, floating when in water, to 3 m long and can be much longer, rooted at nodes. Petioles 3-14 cm long. Leaf blades held erect above water when stems floating, variable in shape, usually narrowly triangular, sagittate or hastate, 4-17 cm long, apex pointed; leaf base truncate to broadly sagittate or hastate, basal lobes triangular, lobe apices acute or obtuse, tips acuminate. Pedicels and peduncles 2-7 cm long. Sepal lobes subequal, +/- 6 mm long. Capsule diameter +/- 8-10 mm.
creeping stoloniferous plant with petiolate leaves arising from widely separated nodes
Perennial. Emergent or floating. Stem creeping, rooting at each node, thick and spongy when floating. Leaves widely spaced, alternate; petiole elongate; leaf blade cordate or sagittate to linear or triangular; margin entire. Inflorescence axillary, of one to a few flowers in a cyme. Sepals 5, green; corolla tubular, large, funnel-shaped, lobes 5, color variable, usually white to purple. Fruit a capsule. Dispersal by stem fragments and seeds.