A Crop for Aquaponics: Edible Morning Glory or ‘Water Spinach’.

edible morning glory plant

Edible morning glory plant, ipomoaea aquatica.

An interesting reserve crop for aquaponics, which rapidly fills in for missing plants in plant positions in your grow beds or floating raft system, is the edible morning glory or “water spinach”.  This is a very popular food in the Far East.  Edible morning glory or “water spinach” will grow just by slipping cuttings of it into your aquaponic system. Its botanical  name  is  Ipomoea aquatica, (eep-oh-MEE-uh a-KWA-ti-ka, water loving Morning Glory.) It’s a native of China called “water spinach.” DON’T CONFUSE IT WITH NORMAL GARDEN MORNING GLORY, WHICH IS POISONOUS.  If you do find it in the USA, depending where you live, you’re expected to report it because it can be invasive. Where fresh water doesn’t freeze, such as Florida, it is colonizing the waterways. In northern areas, winter keeps it from spreading. If you are growing it in an aquaponic system, it is difficult for it to spread, since it is contained by the tanks.

There are two versions of I. aquatica, narrow leaf and wide leaf, both are edible. And actually they come in two colors. The “green” version has green stems and white flowers with red throats. The “red” version has purple-tinged stems with pink or lilac flowers with red throats. They both grow only in water, or very damp soil, when not growing in aquaponics systems. The vines, with milky sap, can reach up to 70-feet long (the state of Florida says only nine feet.) Shoots and leaves are the edible parts of your crop. You will not find this plant growing in dry areas.

However, you will be growing this crop to eat as a stir-fry vegetable in an aquaponics system, and will not be likely to see the flowers.  The shoots make up a cut and come again crop, however, as long as you leave an inch or so of stalk and leaf on the plant. They grow very rapidly in aquaponics and can cover your grow bed or floating raft system with a crop of edible shoots in as little as three weeks.  Edible morning glory or ‘water spinach’ is a very popular vegetable in Thai and Chinese restaurants, where you would find a market for your crop, no doubt.

Edible morning glory or “water spinach” is raised as a vegetable in Florida under strict conditions and only for out-of-state sale. It is also grown commercially in Texas, Hawaii and California. In the United States it is found in the wild in (mostly central west) Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. I first came across it growing luxuriantly in the aquaponics system at the University of the Virgin Islands, though I had eaten it innumerable times when living in China and Thailand.

It can be eaten raw when found in wholesome water. The water in your aquaponics system should be wholesome, if you have paid attention to water quality and hygiene around the system.  Fish are cold-blooded, so fish farm waste water does not carry bugs that are harmful to humans (who are warm-blooded), unless humans have introduced them from elsewhere.  Otherwise, edible morning glory or “water spinach”  should be cooked. The leaves are 48% carbohydrates, 24% proteins, 13% ash.  They are rich in minerals and a good source of  vitamins A, C and E. That is a better nutritional profile than a lot of other green leafy vegetables. It is a major food crop and vegetable in its native lands. The roots are sometimes eaten. Like other members of this family of plants, these edible morning glory roots are toxic to horses.

If you like this article, the Aquaponics Global Anthology 1 is available for instant download here: [paiddownloads id=”1″]

If you found this article useful, please share it on your favorite social bookmarking site so others who might need it can easily find it! We need to get the news and the info about aquaponics out to the hungry world fast!
Facebook facebook   Twitter twitter   Digg digg   Linkedin linkedin   Delicious delicious   Reddit reddit   Stumbleupon stumbleupon   Tumblr tumblr   Pinterest pinterest   Email email  

13 thoughts on “A Crop for Aquaponics: Edible Morning Glory or ‘Water Spinach’.

  1. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted
    to say fantastic blog!

  2. Howdy! I understand this is kind of off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does managing a well-established website like yours require a massive amount work?
    I’m brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my journal on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and
    thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners.

  3. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise a few technical issues using this site, since I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get
    it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances
    times will often affect your placement in google and could
    damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.
    Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content.

    Make sure you update this again very soon.

    Feel free to surf to my site – psn card kaufen

  4. Excellent pieces. Keep writing uch kind oof info on your site.
    Im really impressed by your site.
    Hey there, You have pewrformed a great job.
    I’ll certainly digg it and inn my view recommend to my friends.
    I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

    Also visit mmy web-site :: acne no more ebook

  5. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and
    I’m inspired! Extremely useful informatikon specially the last part :) I take care of such info a
    lot. I used to bbe seeking this particular information for a very long time.

    Thanks and goood luck.

  6. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be
    on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they just do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined
    out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  7. Thanks for any other excellent article. The place else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect manner of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>