The Q&A Archives: Christophene

Question: I had a wonderful vegatable in the Carribean recently. It was about 3-4 inches round, exterior knobby and green to yellow in color, pale green to white interior, consistancy something between celery and cucumber, with a very mild flavor. Does this go by some other name, and where can I find seeds or plants?

Answer: temperature, the fruit
will shrivel and sprout.
large seed that sprouts as soon as the fruit reaches maturity
unless placed in cool storage. Fruits stored at 50 degrees F
remain in goodcondition for planting for as much as 6-8
weeks, although shriveling and decay are common.

Plant one fruit per hill in hills spaced 12 feet apart. Place the
fruit on its side with the smaller stem end sloping upward.
While the stem end is usually left slightly exposed, in colder
areas of Florida growers have found that the fruit should be
completely covered with soil to protect the bud from early
cold damage. Plant in the early spring in all areas of Florida,
and/or in the fall in South Florida.

Fertilizer should be applied in three applications, at planting
time, in the middle of summer and when the fruits are small.
Fertilizing at more frequent intervals might be necessary
when conditions waraent. Well rotted animal manures or
composted materials are beneficial.

Both male and female flowers occur on the same vine.
These flowers are visited by insects, both wasps and bees,
which facilitate pollination.

Chayote is served in many ways: creamed, buttered, fried,
stuffed, baked, frittered, boiled, mashed, pickled, in salads,
or in pies.

Following harvest the fruits may be stored in edible
condition for several weeks if wrapped in newspaper and
kept cool (50-55 degrees F). At room temperature, the fruit
will shrivel and sprout.

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