Common Name: Ceylon spinach, waterleaf. Tamil Name: Sambar Keerai.
Ceylon spinach is actually native to the America, naturalized in many parts of the world. This evergreen plant has fleshy, succulent and brittle stem and grows to a height of about 50 cm. The leaves are simple and arranged in an alternate manner; the leaf lamella grows over the leaf stalk. The leaves measure around 8.5 cm in length; the margin is entire; obovate in shape; apex is rounded and base is cuneate. The inflorescence is in the form of a terminal panicle. The flower has five pink color petals; obovate in shape and each measure around 1 cm. The calyx has two teeth (ovate in shape each measuring around 6 mm), and are whitish green in color and veined. The flower consists of several stamens and three styles. The fruit is in the form of a capsule. The leaves and young shoots are cooked and consumed. The leaves contain high quantities of oxalic compounds hence not suitable for regular consumption. Propagates via seeds and cuttings.