Tendril-bearing perennial vine (Sechium edule) of the gourd family, native to the New World tropics, where it is widely cultivated for its edible fruits. Chayote also is grown as an annual plant in temperate climates. The fast-growing vine bears small, white flowers and green or white pear-shaped fruits with furrows. Each fruit contains one seed. The fruits are eaten cooked or raw, and the young root tubers are prepared like potatoes.