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Chaya, an important perennial vegetable, is a vigorous and attractive large leafy shrub, particularly tolerant of poor growing conditions.

Dark green, alternate, simple, slick surfaced often with some hairs, and palmately lobed (much like the leaves of okra). Each leaf is 6 to 8 inches across and is borne on a long slender petiole (leaf stem). Where the leaf stem connects to the leaf, the leaf veins are fleshy and cuplike. The wood of young stems is soft, easily broken, and susceptible to rot. When cut, the stem exudes a white latex (Fig. 17,18). 5