- Ipomoea aquatica is an annual herb. It can be a procumbent terrestrial in wetland areas or a floating aquatic. The thick hollow stems root at the nodes. Stems are slightly swollen above the nodes. It is native to temperate and tropical Asia, Africa, and Australia. It is used as a pot herb in some regions.
- The petiolate leaves are hastate (halberd shaped) with the central lobe lanceolate. The basal lobes are much smaller and sometimes almost absent. Leaves are from 1.5-5 in. (4-12 cm) inches long.
- The white to purple funnel shaped flowers are usually solitary. Sometimes a few flowers are held in a cyme. It can flower year round in tropical climates.
- Ipomoea aquatica fruits are woody ovoid capsules.
- Ecological Threat
- Ipomoea aquatica can become an invasive problem in some tropical and temperate regions outside of its native range. Its common name, water spinach indicates that use as a food is one reason it has been spread to other parts of the world. It is listed as a noxious weed in the United States. Ipomoea aquatica has been reported in Florida, California, Hawaii and Washington. It has also been reported in Micronesia, French Polynesia and South America.
- Global Invasive Species Database. 2011. Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission
- Erin Harwood and Mark Sytsma, Center for Lakes and Reservoirs, Portland State University, Portland, OR
- University of Florida, IFAS Extension, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
- Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council
- Flora of Pakistan, www.eFloras.org
- Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
- USDA NRCS PLANTS
- USDA ARS GRIN