Also known as swamp spinach, this vegetable is native to tropical India and gets its name because it's cultivated both on water-bogged and dry land. Water spinach has slender, graceful medium to dark green leaves that can be up to 18 inches long. Although not related to common spinach, its flavor and fragrance resemble it. It's available in Asian markets and can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 4 days. All but the bottom half of the stems can be eaten. Water spinach is typically used in stir-fry dishes.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.