Sicyos edulis Jacq., Enum. syst. pl. 32. 1760 (Select. stirp. amer. hist. 258, t. 163. 1763) (Syn: Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw.; Sechium americanum Poir.) as per The Cucurbitaceae of India: Accepted names, synonyms, geographic distribution, and information on images and DNA sequences by Susanne S. Renner, Arun K. Pandey. (2013)
chayote, chaco, mirliton, vegetable pear, custard marrow, christophine; ‘Seema-Kathirikkai, Chow-chow’ in Tamil; 

The chayote[1] (Sechium edule), also known as christophene or christophine,[1] cho-cho,[1] mirliton[2] or merleton (Creole/Cajun), chuchu (Brazil), Cidra (Antioquia, Caldas, Quindio and Risaralda regions of Colombia), Guatila (Boyacá and Valle del Cauca regions of Colombia), Centinarja (Malta), Pipinola (Hawaii), pear squash, vegetable pear,[1] chouchoute, choko, güisquil (El Salvador),[3] Labu Siam (Indonesia), ishkus (Darjeeling, India) is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash.

Chayote is originally native to Mexico or Central America where it grows abundantly and has little commercial value, and it has been introduced as a crop all over Latin America, and worldwide.
Although most people are familiar only with the fruit as being edible, the root, stem, seeds and leaves are as well. The tubers of the plant are eaten like potatoes and other root vegetables, while the shoots and leaves are often consumed in salads and stir fries, especially in Asia.  
In the most common variety, the fruit is roughly pear-shaped, somewhat flattened and with coarse wrinkles, ranging from 10 to 20 cm in length. It looks like a green pear, and it has a thin, green skin fused with the green to white flesh, and a single, large, flattened pit. Some varieties have spiny fruits. The flesh has a fairly bland taste, and a texture is described as a cross between a potato and a cucumber. Although generally discarded, the seed has a nutty flavor[citation needed] and may be eaten as part of the fruit.
The chayote vine can be grown on the ground, but as a climbing plant, it will grow onto anything, and can easily rise as high as 12 meters when support is provided. It has heart-shaped leaves, 10–25 cm wide and tendrils on the stem. The plant bears male flowers in clusters and solitary female flowers.[5] The plant’s fruit is light green and elongated with deep ridges lengthwise.
(From on Wikipedia 21.12.13)



Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw., Fl. Ind. occid. 2:1150. 1800
Often grown and sold in Sikkim, Darjeeling and other Indian hill stations, now also available in stores elsewhere
This one was photographed from California in September, 2009, often sold in stores in California under the name Chayote squash

Common names: chayote, chayote squash, vegetable pear,
Local names: chow chow, squash, iskus (Nepal).

– I remember reading about a farmer in the US or Canada who encased these tender ones in some sort of a plastic mould – shaped like the faces of leaders – so that when they ripened they took the shape of the mould. The one that I remember distinctly is that of Bush senior. May be it was during the Iraq war.


Fruits & Vegetables Week: RVS-8: Called as ‘Bangalore Brinjal’. Commonly cultivated for its vegetable fruits.

– This Tropical American plant is called as ‘Seema-Kathirikkai, Chow-chow’ in Tamil.

Very common in Northeastern hills

– I knew it as Chayote squash as sold in American markets. I have seen in in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri, sold as squash but never heard the name Bengal Brinjal. Markets here in california also sell a spiny cultivar known as

-Let us say temperate climate. In California it is growing at sea level.

-i wrote as ‘Bangalore’ brinjal and not as ‘Bengali’ brinjal. .. i think the word ‘Seemai’ in this context refers to its
origin as ‘non-native’. [e.g. Seemai agathi = Senna alata; Seemail mullu = Prosopis juliflora; Seemai athi = Ficus carica….all these are exotics].

-It all arose since I have seen this fruit in Bengal markets. Would be interesting to know whether it in grown in Bangalore.

-I think for ‘country’ or native variety we say ‘naattu’. ‘ Seemai’ refers to ‘foreign’, meaning non-native.

Cucurbitaceae Week: Sechium edule from California: Sechium edule (Jacq.) Swartz, Fl. Ind. Occid. 2: 1150. 1800.

syn: Sicyos edulis Jacq.
Common names: Chayote squash
Herbaceous climber with suborbicular leaves on long slender petioles; male flowers 10-30 in a raceme on up to 30 cm long peduncle; female flowers one or two in the same axil as male infl.; fruit pale green, obovoid, 8-16 cm long, 5-grooved in upper part, slightly hispid.
Photographed from California


efloraindia: 101011 BRS 56:  

Pl. find the attached file contain photos for id. request.
Date/Time-Location- 07.10.2011, 9 Am,
Place, Altitude, GPS- Munnar, 1800 MSL
Habitat- Urban (Along the road side)
Plant Habit- Climber

Any Cucurbitaceae member

The images are of Sechium edule



Sechium edule (Chayote) : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6)
Sechium edule (Jacq.)
Common Name – Chayote
Family – Cucurbitaceae
At Hamirpur, HP
Dated – 18November2017




Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw. : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (5)
Location Gyaneswor, Kathmandu, Nepal
Elevation :  4500 ft.
Date 11 November 2018

Habit : Cultivated 



The Cucurbitaceae of India: Accepted names, synonyms, geographic distribution, and information on images and DNA sequences by Susanne S. Renner, Arun K. Pandey. (2013)

The Plant List (Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw.) GRIN (Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw.)  Wikipedia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *