Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chayote, Chayote Squash, Vegetable Pear, Choko, Chaco, Choco, Madeira Marrow
Sechium edule 'Pale-green-fruited'

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sechium (SEK-ee-um) (Info)
Species: edule (ED-yew-lee) (Info)
Cultivar: Pale-green-fruited

Synonym:Sicyos edule
Synonym:Chayota edulis

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Vines and Climbers

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #1 of Sechium edule by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #2 of Sechium edule by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #3 of Sechium edule by Xenomorf


4 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Bellsp On Jan 6, 2013, Bellsp from Warrington, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I just ate my first chayote! I fried it just like a large sliced French fry and it was delicious! If you like yellow squash and kiwis you should love this! It had an indescribable nectar sweetness and was almost juicy! I either had one with two seeds or I split the one. I planted it any way. I will be buying many more. I hope to grow my own here in north Florida. I can't say enough about this fun 'new to me' vegetable! My dad loved it, too! I'm now interested in finding the spiny variety. I joined for two months, but I have enjoyed this site so much, I plan on renewing definitely. As soon as I made it home I looked it up on here and had all the information I needed!

Neutral wannadanc On Sep 20, 2012, wannadanc from Olympia, WA wrote:

I bought one at the grocery store, intending to eat it. It had other plans, sending up a shoot very quickly. I now have it suspended over water in a glass - and the shoot is several feet tall complete w/ tendrils. Obviously, there is no hope for growing success in my zone (7-8), but I enjoy watching the effort it is making.

Positive victorengel On Nov 22, 2011, victorengel from Austin, TX wrote:

I think there are more than 6 kinds. I've seen only two kinds here in Austin, Texas, both rather large. One with spines, one without. The one with spines is dark. The one without is light.

In Guatemala they are called guisquil. In addition to these two varieties, we also had a dark skinned spineless variety, a white, spineless variety, and my favorite -- one with very small, spineless fruit.

Inside the fruit is a single seed, encapsulated by a textured sack. In the dark skinned varieties, this sack can be very tough and is not eaten. In the light skinned and small varieties, it is tender and can be eaten. The skin also varies from tough in the case of dark skinned ones to thin and tender in the lighter ones.

In addition to the fruit, all other parts of the plant may be eaten. Shoots and leaves can be eaten like spinach. Tubers are eaten light potatoes.

To propagate, simply place a fruit on the ground. Roots will grow not just from the seed but also from the part of the fruit touching the ground.

Positive rjogden On Feb 27, 2011, rjogden from Gainesville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

My first experience growing Chayote was with supermarket fruit planted in Gainesville Florida some 20 years ago. With minimal training, the vines completely covered a horizontal wooden trellis set some 8 feet in the air. Fruits hung down and could be picked off as needed. I thought I had all the fruit but, after the first killing frost, found there were literally dozens that had been hidden by the foliage. I lost track of the plant after moving to another location; I do not thing the next owners of the house knew what they had or cared for it.
Last summer (2010) I again planted a merliton purchased from a local Publix grocery store, in a large (about 7-10 gallon) nursery container in a good-quality pine-bark-based media, along with a healthy dose of bone meal and fish meal. The growing conditions were far from ideal. The plant went dry several times during the summer, and I was only able to provide a short 5' "hog wire" cage to support the vines. There were no blooms or fruit, and several times I thought I had lost the plant when entire stems would wilt and die back, but the plant kept sending out new branches from the base. I pretty much abandoned the plant to it's fate as the weather turned colder, knowing there was no longer enough time to produce usable fruit, but since I did not need the container immediately I left it alone. This week (end of February 2010) I was cleaning up some of the potted specimens outside when I noticed there are again chayote shoots appearing from the soil in the pot. This was after a winter during which we had quite a few exceptionally cold nights, with lows in the low 20's (cold enough to damage unprotected outdoor plumbing). I'm now hoping growth this year is starting early enough to allow the plant to produce some flowers and fruit, but I know I need to move it to some ground where the roots can spread. Unfortunately I have no ideally situated horizontal trellis waiting to go, but I'm definitely considering putting one up if I can afford the lumber.

Positive foodiesleuth On Oct 12, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Another name by which this plant is known: in Louisiana they call it Mirliton.

I'm familiar with two varieties that grow here in the East Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.....a light green, almost white with some little fuzzy spines and another a darker green with smoother skin.

I have collected many recipes using chayote.

Neutral Xenomorf On Oct 9, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

According to the Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database, there are 6 types (cultivars).
Dark-green-fruited, Pale-green-fruited, Round-fruited, Spiny-fruited, Thin-fruited & White-fruited.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gainesville, Florida
Savannah, Georgia
Honomu, Hawaii

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