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Encyclopedia > Water spinach
Ipomoea aquatica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: aquatica
Binomial name
Ipomoea aquatica

Ipomoea aquatica is a semi-aquatic tropical plant grown as a leaf vegetable. It is also called water spinach, water convolvulus, water morning-glory, kangkung (from Malay), kongxincai (from Chinese: 空心菜; pinyin: kōngxīncài; literally "hollow vegetable"), or ong choy (from the Cantonese pronunciation of Chinese: 蕹菜; pinyin: wéngcài). Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... Divisions Green algae Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular embryophytes Hepatophyta - liverworts Anthocerophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) Seedless vascular plants Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants (also angiosperms or Magnoliophyta) are one of the major groups of modern plants, comprising those that produce seeds in specialized reproductive organs called flowers, where the ovulary or carpel is enclosed. ... Orders see text Dicotyledons or dicots are flowering plants whose seed contains two embryonic leaves or cotyledons. ... Families at least the following: Solanaceae Convolvulaceae and others, varying between classification systems; for details see text The Solanales are an order of flowering plants, included in the asterid group of dicotyledons. ... Genera See text The Convolvulaceae, the bindweed or morning glory family, is a group of about 60 genera and more than 1,650 species of mostly herbaceous vines, but also trees, shrubs and herbs. ... Species I. batatas - Sweet potato I. violacea The genus Ipomoea, with over 500 species, is the largest genus of the family Convolvulaceae. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is a standard convention used for naming species. ... Peter Forsskål (sometimes also Pehr Forsskål, Peter Forskaol, Petrus Forskål or Pehr Forsskåhl) (born in Helsinki, 11 January 1732, died in Yemen, 11 July 1763), Swedish explorer, orientalist and naturalist. ... Leaf vegetables, also called greens or leafy greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots. ... The Malay language, also known locally as Bahasa Melayu, is an Austronesian language spoken by the Malay people who are native to the Malay peninsula, southern Thailand, Singapore, central eastern Sumatra, the Riau islands, and parts of the coast of Borneo. ... Pinyin (拼音, pīnyīn) literally means join (together) sounds (a less literal translation being phoneticize, spell or transcription) in Chinese and usually refers to Hànyǔ Pīnyīn (汉语拼音, literal meaning: Han language pinyin), which is a system of romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration to roman script) for Standard Mandarin used in the... Standard Cantonese refers to the most prestigious dialect of Cantonese (Yue), a vernacular variety of spoken Chinese. ... Pinyin (拼音, pīnyīn) literally means join (together) sounds (a less literal translation being phoneticize, spell or transcription) in Chinese and usually refers to Hànyǔ Pīnyīn (汉语拼音, literal meaning: Han language pinyin), which is a system of romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration to roman script) for Standard Mandarin used in the...


Botanical description

It grows in water or moist soil. Its stems are hollow, allowing it to float. Its leaf shapes range from heart-shaped to lanceolate. Water (from the Old English word wæter) is a colourless, tasteless, and odourless substance that is essential to all known forms of life and is known also as the most universal solvent. ... For the heavy metal band see Soil (band) Soil is the layer of minerals and organic matter, in thickness from centimetres to a metre or more, on the land surface. ... In botany, a leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for photosynthesis. ...

Origins and distribution

It is most common in East and Southeast Asia. Because it flourishes naturally and is abundant and does not need to be cultivated it is often used extensively in Malay and Chinese cuisine, especially in rural or kampung areas. It also has a relatively low cost and thus often cooked and eaten in urban environments, for example in hawker centres. East Asia can be defined in either cultural or geographic terms. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Tillage (American English), or cultivation (UK) is the agricultural preparation of the soil to receive seeds. ... Rural areas are sparsely settled places away from the influence of large cities and towns. ... Kampong or kampung is a word in Malay and Indonesian language which means village. The word is also a common title for names of places in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore which, although modern, retains the word kampong for historical purposes. ... Hawker-Siddeley was a British aircraft manufacturing company. ...


It is often stir fried with chile peppers, garlic, shrimp paste (belacan) and other hot spices. It is also eaten raw with Lao green papaya salad. Stir frying is a common Chinese cooking technique used because of its fast cooking speed. ... The chile pepper (also chili or chilli; from Spanish chile) is the fruit of the plant Capsicum from the nightshade family (Solanaceae). ... Garlic (Allium sativum) is a bulbous perennial food plant of the family Alliaceae. ... Superfamilies Alpheoidea Atyoidea Bresilioidea Campylonotoidea Crangonoidea Galatheacaridoidea Nematocarcinoidea Oplophoroidea Palaemonoidea Pandaloidea Pasiphaeoidea Physetocaridoidea Procaridoidea Processoidea Psalidopodoidea Stylodactyloidea True shrimp are small, swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. ... Belacan (also spelled belachan, blachang, balachong) is a Malay condiment prepared from fermented krill. ... Screen shot of Spice OPUS, a fork of Berkeley SPICE SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuits Emphasis) is a general purpose analog circuit simulator. ... A dish of som tam, made with papaya, beans, chili and lime Som tam (Thai/Isan ส้มตำ) is a spicy papaya salad originating in Laos and the Isan region of Thailand. ...

Cultural References

There is a belief in Chinese culture that discourages excessive eating of Ipomoea aquatica because its hollow stem makes one weak and hollow like the plant, although it does not advocate totally refraining from eating it entirely.

External links

  • Photo of heart-shaped variety (http://protist.i.hosei.ac.jp/Asagao/Yoneda_DB/E/PCD2522/htmls/40.html)
  • Multilingual taxonomic information from the University of Melbourne (http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Ipomoea.html#aquatica)

  Results from FactBites:
Kate's Global Kitchen (969 words)
But knowing the description of a food you've never eaten before doesn't help much when trying to prepare it, and over 500 recipes in the book are catalogued right next to the ingredient entry.
For instance, the listing for Water Spinach includes an illustration of leaves and stem (both are edible), a description of each, where it's found (throughout Asia), and its name in nine Asian nations ranging from China (ong choy) to Vietnam (rau muong).
At this point, I feel very comfortable walking out of an Asian market with a plump bag of water spinach and a plan for its use.
[ Revista MultiCiência - Revista dos Centro e Núcleos Interdisciplinares da Unicamp ] (4419 words)
Perhaps a few examples can clarify the current situation.
Water cabbage or water spinach, Ipomoea aquatica, largely cultivated in China and Vietnam as hidroponic and terrestrial green vegetable, very nutritious and highly productive, with short time cycle (left and centre).
A mixture up to 52 different species of wild plants is collectively been collected in spring in some villages in Friuli, Nort Eastern Italy and is called pistic (right).
  More results at FactBites »



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