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This member of the arum family Araceae is an epiphyte with aerial roots, able to grow up to 20 m (66 ft) high in the wild, with large, leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves 25–90 cm (10–35.5 in) long by 25–75 cm (10–29.5 in) broad. The leaves on young plants are smaller and entire with no lobes or holes, but soon produce lobed and fenestrate leaves as they grow. Although it can grow very tall in nature, it only measures between 2 and 3 m (6.6 and 9.8 ft) when grown indoors. The leaves are large (up to 1 m or 3.3 ft long), heart-shaped and pinnate. The older the plant, the more the leaves are covered with its familiar large perforations. Wild seedlings grow towards the darkest area they can grow until they find a tree trunk, then start to grow up towards the light, creeping up the tree.The inflorescence is adorned with a cream-white spathe of uniform, velvety appearance, covering, like a hood, a yellowish white spadix 10 to 15 cm (3.9 to 5.9 in) high and about 3 cm (1.2 in) in diameter. Flowers are self pollinating, containing both androecium and gynoecium. Since they contain both structures, this plant is able to self-pollinate. FruitEdit M. deliciosa fruit growing The fruit of Monstera deliciosa is up to 25 cm (10 in) long and 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) diameter, and it looks like a green ear of maize covered with hexagonal scales. As the fruit ripens, these scales or platelets fall off the fruit, releasing a strong and sweet scent. The smell has been compared to a combination of pineapples and bananas. The fruit is edible and safe for humans.Fruits of plants of the Araceae (Arum family) often contain raphides and trichosclereids – needle-like structures of calcium oxalate. In M. deliciosa, unripe fruit containing these needle-like crystalline structures can cause irritation of the mouth. It takes longer than a year for fruits to reach maturity. The fruit first shows signs of ripening by the yellowing of its lowest scales. As it ripens, the starch that was stored in the green fruit is converted to sugar, giving it its sweet flavor. This mechanism is comparable to how banana fruits ripen. The strong odor the fruit produces becomes noticeable when it is half-ripe. As time passes and the fruit continues to ripen, the odor becomes stronger. After it becomes fully ripe, however, the scent deteriorates quickly.
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Edible, Houseplant, Poisonous
The inflorescence is a spadix and spathe. Spathes are large, creamy-white, and up to 1' in size. The spadix is shorter than the spathe at 10" long and an inch thick. Rarely flowers as a house plant.
This plant produces an aggregate of creamy-white berries. These berries are edible and taste like a mixture of banana and pineapple. Rarely produces fruit as a houseplant.
How to Grow
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)