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Sechium edule

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Photo by Tom Andres.

The fruits by P. Schönfelder

A fruit with a sprout. Photo by Maarten van Thiel.

A fruit cut in half. Photo by Maarten van Thiel.

Author: Olof Peter Swartz, 1800
Origin:  Belize, Mexico
Soil:  Mix
Water:  Maximum
Sun:  Medium - Maximum
Thickness:  6 Centimetres
Height:  12 Metres
Flower:  Crème - Pale Yellow
Propagate:  Seeds
Names:  Aguate, Chayotillo, Chayotillo Espinoso, Chuchu, Sayote, Tayota, Choko, Chocho, Chow-Chow, Christophene, Mirliton, Vegetable Pear, Starprecianté, Citrayota, Citrayote, Pear Squash, Labu Siam, Chuchu, Christofine
Synonyms:  Sicyos laciniatus Linné, 1753.
Cucumis acutangulus
Linné, 1753.
Sicyos edulis Jacq. 1760.
Sicyos edulis
Jacq. 1760.
Chayota edulis
Jacq. 1780.
Sechium americanum
Poir. 1806.
Cucumis acutangulus
Descourt. 1827.
Sicyos laciniatus
Descourt. 1827.
Sechium chayota
Hemsl. 1880.

This member of the Cucurbitaceae family was given this name by Olof Peter Swartz in 1800. It is found in Belize and Mexico, growing in a rich and drained soil with lots of water and some to full sun. The tuberous roots can grow to six centimetres in diameter, the vines grow to twelve metres or more. The flowers are crème to pale yellow.

The lemon size fruit only contain one seed, and it should be sown with the entire fruit! It might actually start growing within the fresh fruit.

The genera name means pen, perhaps for the fact that it was fed to hogs. This species name indicates it can be eaten - which it is.