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Water Spinach

Water SpinachScientific name: Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. (ITIS)

Common names: Water spinach, swamp morning glory, swamp morningglory

Click image to enlarge

Selected Resources

Native To: Asia (Lee 1998)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1970s (Langeland et al. 2008)

Means of Introduction: Horticultural escape (Lee 1998)

Impact: Crowds out native species (Lee 1998)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Federally Regulated:

  • Listed as a Federal Noxious Weed under the Plant Protection Act, which makes it illegal in the U.S. to import or transport between States without a permit (USDA, APHIS - Noxious Weeds Program)



  • Water Spinach (or select Play button below)
    University of Florida. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. (YouTube).

Selected Resources:


Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Swamp Morning Glory
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Texas Invasives Database - Ipomoea aquatica

Invasive Species Compendium - Ipomoea aquatica
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Ipomoea aquatica (vine, climber)
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.


Ipomoea aquatica Forsk. (Water Spinach) - Aquatic Plant Information System (APIS)
DOD. USACE. Engineer Research and Development Center.

Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - Ipomoea aquatica
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program.

Ipomoea aquatica - Federal Noxious Weed Disseminules of the U.S.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and California Department of Food and Agriculture.

PLANTS Database - Swamp Morning-Glory
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.


Weed of the Month: Ipomoea aquatica, water spinach (Mar 2010)
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Division of Plant Industry.

Water-spinach - Weed Alert (PDF | 302 KB)
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Water Spinach
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Water spinach
University of Florida. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.


Water spinach, swamp morning-glory
Guide to Invasive Plants of the Galveston Bay Area.

Ipomoea aquatica
Missouri Botanical Garden.

Ipomoea aquatica
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Ipomoea aquatica. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Langeland, K.A., and H.M. Cherry, C.M. McCormick, and K.A. Craddock Burks. 2008. Ipomoea aquatica (PDF | 166 KB) In: Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas (Second Edition). Gainesville: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, p. 67.

Lee, J. 1998. Handle this spinach with care. Agricultural Research 46(6):26.

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Last Modified: Mar 20, 2015
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