The morning glory is also known as “water spinach” and called “Kalmi Lata” in Bangladesh. It can grow over the surface of the water freely. It was named morning glory because of its beautiful flower.
Morphology: The length of a single stem of morning glory can be 20 meters with profuse branching and its apical shoot may advance 10 cm in a day under favorable environment (Mandal et al., 2008).
Distribution: Tropical and subtropical countries (Mandal et al., 2008).
Scientific name: Ipomoea aquatica
Common name: Morning glory and water spinach
Local name (Bangladesh): Kalmi Lata
Nutrition: the nutritional qualities of I. aquatica determined its composition to be 32.2% crude protein, 10.8% crude fiber, 6% crude lipid, 6.0% and 30.0% ash. The total carbohydrate (NFE +crude fiber), was 31.8%. Micronutrient content (per g): vitamin B1 (thiamin), 87μg; nicotinic acid, 0.6 mg; ribofl avin, 120 μg; vitamin C (ascorbic acid), 1.37 mg; along with substantial carotenoids: β−carotene, xanthophylls and taraxanthin. Mineral content included K, 41.4 mg; Mg, 31.0 mg; Zn, 1.7 mg; Cu, 0.1 mg; Ca, 2.0 mg; Na, 5.0 mg; P, 1.0 mg; along with gross energy content, 337.9 kcal per 100g; and protein/energy value was 95.3 mg protein/ kcal (Mandal et al., 2008).
Economic importance: Frequently used as vegetable for human consumption and is cultivated widely in China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines, Bangladesh, and in India (Naskar, 1990). It is sold in Asian markets and considered one of the most cheap as well as delicious leafy vegetables preferred by all groups of consumers from rich to poor (Mandal et al., 2008).
Directly used as food for many fish species, like grass carp and other plant eater. May serve an a natural substratum for periphyton, an excellent food item for many fish species. Mandal et al. (2008) reported growth of a number of periphyton especially filamentous algae around the periphery of stem.
References / literature cited
Mandal RN, Saha GS, Kalita P and Mukhopadhyay PK (2008) Ipomoea aquatica – an aquaculture friendly macrophyte, Aquaculture Asia XIII(2): 12-13
Naskar KR (1990) Aquatic & semi aquatic plants of lower Ganga delta, Daya publishing house, Delhi, India. pp. 173 -174.
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