Kang kong

Kang Kong - Ipomoea aquatica

Kang kong (Ipomoea aquatic) is an aquatic weed that has been found within the Coombabah wetlands and Robina Lakes. The species is native to China and is considered highly invasive. It has also been introduced into other Asian nations, Africa, Pacific Islands and South America. It is a popular and common vegetable in many parts of South-East Asia.

The plant is a trailing vine with milky sap. The stems are hollow and grow 3 metres long or more. The flowers comprise a showy funnel form like morning glory blooms. Petals are white to pink–lilac.

The plant forms dense floating mats over the surface of water bodies, such as lakes, ponds, marshes, river edges, wetlands, canals and ditches. It is found in freshwater aquatic habitats that have very moist soils, like muddy banks along streams, and in still to flowing water.

Kang kong out-competes and replaces native plants and has the potential to become widely established within the Gold Coast. The plant can spread rapidly via natural water flows and the wash of watercraft through floating plant fragments and seeds.

Residents who want to cultivate kang kong for food should plant it in containers and not in natural or constructed waterways.

References:

NSW Department of Primary Industries (nd), Kang Kong Ipomoea aquatica. Accessed 16 May 2013

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