Sechium

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sechium (Bot) The edible fruit of a West Indian plant (Sechium edule) of the Gourd family. It is soft, pear-shaped, and about four inches long, and contains a single large seed. The root of the plant resembles a yam, and is used for food.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sechium A genus of gourds, of the order Cucurbitaceæ and tribe Sieyoideæ. It is characterized by monoecious flowers with a saucer-shaped calyx marked with ten radiating ridges, a five-parted wheelshaped corolla, five free anthers (four with two flexuous cells and the other with but one), a six-lobed stigma, and a bristly and spindle-shaped one-celled ovary with a single ovule which matures into a smooth woody roundish seed with very large cotyledons. The only species, S. edule, is an annual climbing vine with roughish stems, native of the West Indies, cultivated in southern Europe and tropical America and Asia for its large edible fleshy fruit, which is oblong or pear-shaped and conspicuously furrowed. It bears thin heart-shaped and five-angled leaves, tendrils with two to five branches, and small yellow flowers in long racemes, the solitary fertile flower in the same raceme with the very numerous staminate ones. The fruits are very prickly, green and shining, white within, and about 4 inches long, and, like the large starchy root's, are eaten boiled with meat or as a vegetable. They are called vegetable pears in the British colonies. The large green seed protrudes from one end and often germinates before falling. See cheyote, the native name.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sechium sē′ki-um a genus of gourds.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL.: cf. F. séchion,; perhaps formed fr. Gr. cucumber
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. Gr. sēkos, an enclosure.