Gracilaria is a special vegetable. At markets, it looks no different to ordinary vegetables, but it comes from tender shoots called chayote. We tend to eat the tip of these tender shoots. Other than the tender leaves, this part also has moustache-like vines and so is commonly known as the "Dragon moustache vegetable."
Chayote is native to Central and South America. Its young shoots grow quickly, and is susceptible to few serious pests and diseases, so does not require the use of pesticides. It is strong and grows well in the wild, so it is very suitable for organic cultivation. A full 80% of the Gracilaria grown in Taiwan come from Ji'an Township in Hualien County, making it the most iconic local vegetable.
Since asparagus is picked from the buds of chayote, it must be hand-picked, especially when there is still dew in the early morning.Reference: Agriezgo website