23. Sechium P. Browne, Civ. Nat. Hist. Jamaica. 355. 1756.
佛手瓜属 fo shou gua shu
Authors: Anmin Lu & Charles Jeffrey
Chayota Jacquin; Chocho Adanson.
Herbs, scandent, perennial. Roots tuberous. Tendrils 3-5-fid. Leaf blade cordate, membranous. Plants monoecious; flowers white. Male flowers in a raceme; calyx tube semiglobose; segments 5; corolla rotate, 5-partite; segments ovate-lanceolate, apex acute; stamens 3, inserted on base of calyx tube; filaments connate; anthers free, one 1-celled, two 2-celled; anther cells flexuous; pistillode absent. Female flowers solitary or binary, usually in same axil as male flowers; calyx and corolla as in male flowers; ovary fusiform, 1-locular, setose; style short; stigma 5-lobed; lobes reflexed, with only 1 pendulous ovule. Fruit obovoid, fleshy, sulcate at apex. Seed 1, large, ovate, compressed, woody, cotyledons large.
About five species: Mexico and Central America; one species (introduced) in China.