Sechium Species, Chayote, Cho Ko, Cho-Cho, Mirliton, Vegetable Pear

Sechium edule

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


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Chowchilla, California

Chipley, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Honomu, Hawaii

Gramercy, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

Raceland, Louisiana

Brownsville, Texas

Devine, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

Benidoleig, Valenciana

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 26, 2014, Lafiet from Windhoek,
Namibia wrote:

Verry nice fruit growing in my garden in Namibia / during this month February i harvest 8 fruits and more is to come.
Easy growing , myne are growing on a fence made from reeds.
I like to cut them in strips and stir-fry them in olive oil with some onions , some green pepper and few rocket leaves which i only put in quickly at the end together with little sugar to bind all the flavours with a sticky sause / togheter with stir-fry in the same pan i like baking pork lion chops and then all this stir-fry served on top of the pork chop is real nice / also good with fish.
I think more people should try this plant it is real nice and grows real easy ....


On Jan 16, 2014, PeterMansfield from Durban,
South Africa wrote:

I believe this plant has the potential to feed poor people in many or most parts of the of the world.

Locally (Durban, South Africa) they grow like weeds and are called Sou-Sous. Wait of it to sprout, plant it in the ground and water it occasionally. In sunshine or in shade (they will climb till they find the sun). There cannot be another plant that offers so much reward for so little effort.

Sou-Sous are very edible and are laden with many vitamins and minerals.

Let every Sou-Sous bloom. They could make a major and self-sustaining contribution to solving world hunger.

Beauty queens take note. I an serious!


On Jul 29, 2007, AverageJoeTX from Devine, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This squash is tasty julienned, dredged in flour, and fried like small french fries. The vine itself can be rampant, so plant where you would like a fence or trellis covered. Chayote makes up for its wild behavior by bearing prolifically. The vines have survived winters in zone 8a (in FL) and possibly further north, however it needs at least a 6 month growing season to set fruit. Would definitely recommend this squash for veggie gardeners with a sizable garden plot and/or lots of vertical support.


On Jul 28, 2006, josef24 from Hove,
United Kingdom wrote:

This plant grows quite freely in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
It grows practically wild. It is a real treat to eat. It is like a
It is good steamed or boiled. Serve with a pat of butter and a little salt & pepper. It is wonderful stuffed with
minced beef or lamb or shrimp ( par boil,cut in half, stuff and place in the oven for a 20 -30 minutes)


On Apr 21, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is one of the easiest plants to germinate. I just let the fruit start to shrivel at room temperature in the kitchen and it actually germinates without any soil! I plant them when the vine gets over 4 inches long and when the roots start to form but you can just bury fruits in a mound and they will germinate. I like to trellis mine but some people grow them as sprawling vines on the ground. They grow very fast and have pretty cucumber like leaves. You can even grow them on fences.


On Mar 10, 2005, AethyrDragon from Cape Town,
South Africa wrote:

This plant is known in South Africa as Shoe-Shoe, Sjoe-Sjoe or Tjoe-Tjoe. We are in the Western Cape (Winter rainfall - Temperate) and are currently trying to grow a plant to see if we can get any fruit as we've only encountered it growing in more tropical areas and we love the taste!!


On Oct 21, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, 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.


On Oct 8, 2002, Michaelp from Piney Flats, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Good to eat and grows well--Plant the whole fruit with the stem end up and exposed.The fruit has some short but sharp thorns on the bottom of the more mature fruit. Produces a rampant vine /needs good support/not frost tolerant/fruit and large starchy root is eddible/root will grow back next year if mulched to prevent frost damage/vine flowers and fruits only during short days of fall and winter/harvest from november till frost /can weigh over 2 lbs/likes rich well drained soil/I have seen no pests yet.Eat-creamed,fried,boiled,buttered,and canned,good in salad.