Chaya grows easily in Cambodia Chaya (Cnidoscolus chayamansa or C. aconitifolius) is a perennial plant that grows easily throughout Cambodia. Many people know it by the name “spinach tree”. If left alone, a Chaya plant can grow to be a small tree about 4- 5m high. By pruning the plant, it grows to be a bushy shrub about 1.5-2m high. This is what many people do when they grow Chaya as a “living fence” around their gardens and elsewhere on their land.