Spinach, water

Similar in flavour to common spinach, with nutty undertones.

Alternative Name

Chinese spinach, hung tsai, kangkong, ong choy, rau muong, river spinach, swamp cabbage, water convolvulus, water morning glory

Scientific Name

Ipomoea aquatica


Water spinach has no relationship with common spinach, but is closely related to sweet potato. It has long, jointed, hollow stems, which allow the vines to float on water. The leaves are flat and can vary in shape. Some varieties have purple stems. The leaves have a very pleasant, mild, sweet flavour—not unlike that of spinach. It is popular in Asian cooking and is often stir-fried with garlic and chillies.

Information for farmers+

Water spinach should be harvested before it flowers. Rapid and careful postharvest handling is required to minimise damage to the fragile crop, especially due to wilting caused by moisture loss. To prevent this, the plants should be harvested during the coolest part of the day. After bunching, a fine spray of cold water should be applied, and the leaves kept in a cool place away from the wind.

Postharvest storage temperature
No further information available.

Controlled atmosphere storage
No further information available.

Ethylene sensitivity
No further information available.

Humidity storage
No further information available.

Disease & infection
No further information available.

Preparation & Storage+
Keep in vegetable drawer of fridge.
A good source A good source –  1 serve provides 25% of RDI or 4g of fibre A source A source –  1 serve provides 10% of RDI or 2g of fibre

Veggy tip

Blanch, steam or stir-fry water spinach briefly to retain nutrients. It pairs well with crushed garlic and fresh chilli to make a tasty side.