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Binomial Name Sechium edule
Taxon Species
Description Chayote is a tender perennial in the Cucurbitaceae family grown for its edible gourds, roots, stems, and leaves. Unlike other cucurbits like squash, cucumbers, and melons, Chayote's small gourds have a single, large, flattened seed or pit. Some varieties have spiny fruits. Chayote is native to Mesoamerica and thrives in a subtropical to tropical climate, although it can be grown in other regions in containers. It needs 120-150 frost-free days to reach harvest. Like cucumbers, it has a sprawling growth pattern and benefits from trellising - fruit will rot if it sits on the soil. It's pale green fruit can be 10-20cm long and resembles a flattened, wrinkled pear. It's green to white flesh has a mild taste like a cross between a potato and a cucumber. It is usually lightly cooked like summer squash. The tubers are starchy and eaten like potatoes. The shoots and heart-shaped leaves can be added to salads and stir-fries.
Sun Requirements Full Sun
Growing Degree Days
Sowing Method Direct seed whole fruit outdoors
Spread (diameter)
Row Spacing 300 centimeters
Height 1200 centimeters

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