Sechium edule

A member of the squash family, chayote is popular in cuisines from Asia to Latin America to the Southern United States. The mild flavour of the fruit – which can be cooked without peeling the skin – is complemented by spices, and creative recipes abound for its use in stews, sautés, sauces, and mash. The seeds and tubers are also edible, and the leaves infused in a tea have been cited as a treatment for kidney stones, arteriosclerosis, and hypertension, having purported diuretic, cardiovascular, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Water: Moderate, do not overwater

Hardiness: Frost tender but will perennialize in coastal areas or if planted in a fully frost protected spot

Habit: Sprawling habit like other gourds and squashes, it can grow up a fence or trellis

Light: Full Sun

Soil: Well-draining soil

Origin: Central America