mirliton growing guide


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Free Info on Growing & Culinary uses of Mirlitons (Sechium edule)

Mirlitons.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the conservation and innovative uses of Louisiana heirloom mirlitons. “Mirliton” is the Louisiana name for the iconic perennial climbing squash (botanical name: Sechium edule) better known as “chayote” in the Western Hemisphere. Mirlitons.org was founded by Dr. Lance Hill in New Orleans, Louisiana USA and is a volunteer organization.

Mirlitons.org identifies,distributes, and preserves traditional heirloom mirlitons that have been naturally grown for decades in Louisiana. The organization also collects and disseminates information on cultivating mirlitons and international culinary uses.


Once a backyard staple in South Louisiana, heirloom mirlitons were nearly destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav. Mirlitons.org seeks to restore this culturally significant and sustainable backyard food source.

Lance Hill the mirliton man

Dr. Lance Hill, Executive Director of Tulane University’s Southern Institute for Education and Research, offers a free comprehensive guide to growing mirlitons.

In 2008, Hill initiated the Adopt-A-Mirliton project in partnership with the Crescent City Farmers Market as a vehicle to distribute hundreds of free heirloom mirliton plants to growers throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Plant recipients are asked to donate half their crop to re-establish the Louisiana heirloom mirliton.


The Adopt-A-Mirliton project has been transplanted into the broader Mirlitons.org which has taken over the work of distributing heirloom mirlitons to growers and will expand the mission of promoting heirloom mirliton conservation and the development of the horticultural science of mirliton growing.


In addition to mirliton cultivation methods, this website includes:

To post a question on the blog or to sign up for the Mirlitons.Org newsletter, contact Lance Hill at Lance@mirlitons.org.


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