Louisiana Plant Pathology: Powdery Mildew of Mirliton

Raghuwinder Singh, Ferrin, Donald M.  |  6/2/2017 1:43:17 PM

Mirliton (Sechium edule), a native of Mexico and Central America, is a perennial cucurbit grown worldwide. In the United States, it is also known as chayote or vegetable pear. In this country, its production is largely confined to Hawaii and Louisiana, where it is a traditional staple of New Orleans cuisine.

Mirliton is mainly cultivated for its fruits, but its stems, young leaves and tuberous roots are also edible. Mirliton fruit is rich in carbohydrates and amino acids and is well known for its medicinal uses. Mirliton is a warm-season crop and grows well in well-drained soils high in organic matter.

Like other members of cucurbitaceae, mirlitons are susceptible to a common fungal disease called powdery mildew. Mirliton powdery mildew is caused by Podosphaera xanthii.

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