Follow my blog with Bloglovin Worldwide Fruits List: Chayote (Sechium edule)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Chayote (Sechium edule)

Chayote tree (Sechium edule), is a vine that is allied with melons, cucumbers and squash. Originate from Central America or Mexico, but now the plants also spread to Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia and other tropical and subtropical areas.

One of the country's largest producer and exporter of fruits Chayote in the world today is Costa Rica.

In Southeast Asia, in addition to already cultivated, this plant also grows wild in the forests of oak, mixed forests, fields and gardens. This plant grows well at altitudes 900-1100 meters above sea level.

Young fruit of this plant which is also known as Chayote, consumed as a green vegetable, as well as branches and young leaves.

Characteristics of the tree:
Trunk : Soft, ribbed, many branches, and has twisted tendrils on the stem to other objects, generally coarse surface or slightly rough, green, and hairless. Pentagon-shaped and wrapped around, with a length of 50-2500 cm stems, new shoots grow through the armpit leaves.

Leaves: Single heart-shaped bony, with tapered ends, rough surface, 4-25 cm long with a width of between 3-20 cm, green color, with a round stem, petiole length ranges from 5-10 cm.

Flowers: Compound and grow from axillary panicles, with five petals titled, grooved crown, five stamens, anthers orange, one yellow pistil. Stamens and anthers attaches.

Root: off-white colored, taproot, highly branched, spherical to slightly square, roots spreading but shallow, root hairs are near the soil surface can only penetrate the soil 30-40 cm.

The fruit:
Growing fruit hanging on the tree stems, with disorganized curved surfaces, when young dark green fruit, but generally becomes brighter when more mature.  Color of old fruit / ripe usually pale green, however there are some varieties that stay green from young to mature. When still very young fruit grow spines on the outer skin, then the thorns will fall out by itself when fruit  growing ripen.

Plants began flowering at the age of 3-5 months after planting. Fruit harvested after 3 months old, then the next harvest is done once a week. Squash plants are usually productive for 3-4 years. One plant can produce as many as 500 pieces. Chayote production can reach 8-10 tonnes / ha per year.

Rounded elongated fruit shape, enlarged at the end of the fruit, while the base of the fruit is smaller. Seeds located in the middle of the fruit pulp, flattened, smashed two and white.

Chayote fruit consumed while the fruit is still young until late old as vegetables, generally not eaten fresh but through the process.

Sechium edule (Chayote fruit)  contain saponins, alkaloids and tannins, while the leaves contain saponins, flavonoids and polyphenols.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy80 kJ (19 kcal)
Carbohydrates4.51 g
- Sugars1.66 g
- Dietary fiber1.7 g
Fat0.13 g
Protein0.82 g
Thiamine (vit. B1)0.025 mg (2%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)0.029 mg (2%)
Niacin (vit. B3)0.47 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)0.249 mg (5%)
Vitamin B60.076 mg (6%)
Folate (vit. B9)93 μg (23%)
Vitamin C7.7 mg (9%)
Vitamin E0.12 mg (1%)
Vitamin K4.1 μg (4%)
Calcium17 mg (2%)
Iron0.34 mg (3%)
Magnesium12 mg (3%)
Phosphorus18 mg (3%)
Potassium125 mg (3%)
Zinc0.74 mg (8%)
Source: USDA database
Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •       Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  •           Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  •               Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  •                   Class: Magnoliopsida (dashed two / dicots)
  •                       Sub Class: Dilleniidae
  •                           Order: Violales
  •                               Family: Cucurbitaceae
  •                                   Genus: Sechium
  •                                       Species: Sechium edule