Kang Kong 'Bamboo Leaf'
Scientific Name:Ipomoea aquatica
Common Names: Kang Kong, Water Spinach, Chinese Spinach, River Spinach, Kangkong, Swamp Cabbage, Water Morning Glory, Water Convolvulus, Ong Choy, Hung Tsai, Rau Muong, Entsai
Family: CONVOLVULACEAE (Morning Glory & Sweet Potato)
Ipomoea: Worm-Like, Reference To Coiled Flower Bud
aquatica: Aquatic, Lives In Water
Kang Kong is likely to have originated from India but has been cultivated most extensively in South-East Asia.
Kang Kong is a tropical perennial, scrambling vine with edible, elongated, heart-shaped leaves and thick green stems. It has a sweet, mild flavour with little bitterness.
Kang Kong is best when added to stir-fries towards the end of cooking. Can also be chopped finely and added to soups. Young shoots can be eaten raw.
Sow seed 15mm deep spaced about 30cm apart. Soak seeds in luke-warm water overnight to aid germination. Sow in the tropics and sub-tropics during Spring and Summer. Not suitable for temperate and cold regions.
Grown as a semi-aquatic, Kang Kong requires regular moisture and will not grow well if roots are allowed to dry out. Can grow up to 10cm a day in a warm climate with enough water supplied so be sure to keep it in check to prevent it from becoming weedy. Likes damp, swampy soils. Propagates easily from cuttings once first vines are established. Takes as little as five weeks until first harvest.