'IPOMOEA AQUATICA' FROM 'CONNOLVULACEAE' FAMILY

ABOUT 'GARCINIA MONGOSTANA' PLANT


Ipomoea aquatica
  
FAMILY:- CONVOLVULACEAE
 

BOTANICAL NAME:- Ipomoea aquatica
Syn :- I. reptans, I. repens
 

VERNACULAR NAMES :
 

SINHALA : Kankun 
TAMIL : Koilangu, Sarkareivalli, Kankun
ENGLISH : Kang kong, Swamp cabbage, Water convolvulas, Water Spinach. 



DESCRIPTION :
 

Annual or biennial herb with long prostrate stems rooting at nodes, thick, hollow, glabrous, internodes 7-14 cm long.
 

LEAVES:- Simple, alternate without stipules, 5-12 cm long, 4.5-7 cm broad, ovate-oblong, the base usually dilated and hastate with rounded or acute lobes, glabrous, petioles as long as or longer than leaves.
 

FLOWERS:- Regular,bisexual, rather large, dull purple on long glabrous pedicels, usually solitary, often 2, peduncle much shorter than the petiole. (period-August to November) (Jayaweera, 1980).
 

DISTRIBUTION :
 

Grows in damp places throughout India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Philippines. Often cultivated as a pot herb. It also grows in Africa and Australia. In Sri Lanka it is common in shallow water and moist places in dry regions. There are two forms in cultivation - 1, semi aquatic form, 1.aquatic a var, aquatica, ii. land form. aquatica var.raptans (Rice et al., 1993; Tindall, 1993).
 

EDIBLE PARTS : The leaves and part of the prostrate stem.
FOOD USE: The leaves and the parts of the prostrate stems are used as a cooked vegetable


NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC VALUE :
 

Moisture - 90.3 g, 
Energy -28 kcal, 
Proteins -2.9 g, 
Fats -0.4 g, 
Carbohydrates -3.1 g, 
Minerals - Calcium - 110 mg, 
Phosphorus - 46 mg, 
Iron - 3.9 mg - Carotene 1.98 meg, 
Thiamine 50 meg, 
Riboflavin 130 meg, 
Niacin - 0.6 mg, 
Vitamin C-137 mg (Perera et. al., 1979).
 

It is an excellent source of Iron, Calcium, Vitamins B and C. The plant is mildly laxative and owing to the presence of insulin-like principle, it is used against diabetes mellitus. The bud is applied on ringworm (Jayaweera, 1985; Pauda et al., 1987).
 

OTHER USES: The wine is used as fodder for cattle and pigs.
 

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE:
 

Adopted to a wide range of soil conditions but clay soils with high temparatures are more suitable. Requires high moisture content of the soil. Normally grows in lowlands and short day lengths.
 

CULTIVATION:
 

Areas for cultivation - Wet zone and moist places closer to irrigated tanks in the dry zone; the semi-aquatic form is after grown in places which are subjected to flooding.
 

Planting season - Almost throughout the year.
 

Land preparation - Land has to be worked to a fine condition and make seed beds.
 

Planting material - Stem cuttings.
 

Planting and space - Stem cuttings are planted in rows. Distance between two plants is around 40-45 cm.
 

Irrigation - Proper irrigation during day periods increases the yield of land form.
 

Fertilizer - Organic manure will increase the harvest
 

Time to harvest - The first harvest is 50 days after planting. Then harvesting can be done through the year if irrigation is available.
 

Harvest - Cut back to the two leaves above the bottom.  Yield - 4-6 ha given by semi-aquatic forms, the land form gives approximately 50% less.
 

STORAGE:
 

Harvest is kept for 1-2 days under normal conditions.