Edible parts: Fruit, Leaves, Seeds, Roots, Vegetable
A herb. It is a pumpkin family plant. It is a vigorously growing climber that can last for several years. The vine can be up to 15 m long. It has strong tendrils which can attach to fences and trees so that the plant can climb well. The choko leaves are about 15 -20 cm across and have a rough feel. The fleshy fruits contain only one large seed. The stems have furrows along them. The choko fruit is produced in the angle where the leaf joins the vines. Fruit can be up to 20 cm long and they are rough or irregular shaped on the outside. There are white and green fruited varieties. Some fruit have sharp spikes on the skin. Inside the fruit
there is one seed about 4 cm long. The flowers are separate. Male flowers are in clusters and female flowers are on their own. A choko plant produces a large thickened root tuber and the plant can re-grow from this tuber and go on growing year after year. Fruit can be green or white and can have soft spines.
A tropical and subtropical plant. Choko requires relative humidity of 80-85%, annual rainfall of at least 1500-2000 mm and average temperatures of 20-25°C with limits of 12-28°C. In equatorial tropical regions chokos will grow from sea level to about 2200 m altitude, but do best between 350 and 1000 m altitude. In Nepal they grow to about 2000 m altitude. In the lowlands it is best in shade. Chokos need a reasonably well drained soil. It can grow in arid places. It suits hardiness zones 9-12.