Ipomoea aquatica (Water Spinach, Winter Spinach) is a plant that grows from Somalia to West Africa and south to Namibia. It is a "prostrate or ascending much-branched plant always associated with wetlands. Stems hollow, fleshy wit white sap, dirty green, rather fat and with hairy roots arising from nodes when floating in water." The leaves are triangular to heart-shaped and up to 15 cm long. Flowers are mauve, purple, or pink and tubular.
Cultivation in Kenya
- "Leaves eaten as a vegetable (Giriama, Duruma, Digo). The leaf blade is separated from the leaf stalk before cooking for a few minutes. Also used as a vegetable in Tanzania, South East Asia, and China." The plant also provides good animal fodder.