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Split Leaf Philodenron
Araceae
Monstera deliciosa


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Vine



Araceae Family

Monstera Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Ceriman, Swiss Cheese Plant (or just Cheese Plant), Fruit Salad Plant, Monster fruit, Monsterio Delicio, Monstereo, Mexican Breadfruit, Monstera, split-leaf philodendron, Locust and Wild Honey, Windowleaf and Delicious Monster, hurricane plant, tarovine


Location

Monstera deliciosa occurs naturally in the tropical jungles of Central America Monstera deliciosa occurs naturally in the tropical jungles of Central America


Physical Description
It has a thick stem growing up to 20 m height and large, leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves 25-90 cm long by 25-75 cm broad. On young plants the leaves start out smaller and entire with no lobes or holes, but older plants soon produce lobed and holed leaves. The fruit is up to 25 cm long and 3-4 cm diameter, looking like a green ear of maize lined with hexagonal scales. When it first flowers, the fruit contains so much oxalic acid that it is poisonous, causing immediate and painful blistering and irritation, swelling, itching, and loss of voice. It takes a year for the fruit to ripen, at which point it is safe to eat.

The seedlings grow towards the darkest area they can find until they find a tree to latch onto, at which point they start to grow up towards the light, creeping up the tree

In nature, windowleaf is an evergreen liana that climbs high into the rain forest canopy, attaching itself to trunks and branches and supporting itself above the ground with long tentacle-like aerial roots. The aerial roots grow downward out of the thick stem and take root where they touch the ground. The vines are only sparingly branched and a single vine can reach more than 70 ft (21.3 m) in length. The leaves of a young windowleaf are heart shaped and without holes. They often overlap and cling closely to a tree trunk, and plants in that stage are called "shingle plants." Older plants develop the characteristic split and perforated adult leaves that stand away from the supporting tree trunk. The inflorescence is an 8-12 in (20.3-30.5 cm) creamy white Jack-in-the-pulpit-like spadix (Jack) and spathe. The spadix is the fleshy upright spike with tiny flowers on it and the spathe is the boat-shaped bract that surrounds the spadix (the pulpit). The spadix takes a little over a year to mature. It swells into an aromatic fruit that looks a little like a green corn cob. It is said to taste like a combination of banana, pineapple and mango. Flowers and fruits are rarely produced in house plants.




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Araceae
Alismatales
Alismatales
Monocots
Monocots
One First-Leaves (Monocots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Windowleaf was formerly grown in greenhouses in England for the edible fruits, called cerimans or monsteras, and is still cultivated for that purpose (outdoors) in parts of Central America, Australia, California and South Florida. Plants need especially ideal conditions, consisting of high humidity, constantly warm temperatures and bright, indirect light, before they will produce fruit. Plants cultivated for fruit are usually grown on the ground in half shade, like pineapple

Medicinal Uses: The rhizome is used in the treatment of colds and rheumatism. A leaf or root infusion taken daily to relieve arthritis (Mexico). A root preparation is used in Martinique as a remedy for snakebite.

In Mexico, a leaf or root infusion is taken daily to relieve arthritis. A preparation of the root is employed in Martinique as a remedy for snakebite.

Food Uses: Fruit is edible only if fully ripe. Fully ripe pulp is like a blend of pineapple and banana. It may be served as dessert with a little light cream, or may be added to fruit cups, salads or ice cream. Some people cut cross-sections right through the core, creating wheel like disks that can be held with the thumb and fore finger pinching the "hub" while the edible part is nibbled from the rim. To make a preserve, rinsed segments can be stewed for 10 minutes in a little water, a cup of sugar and a tablespoon of lime juice is then added for each 2 cups of fruit, the mixture is simmered again for 20 minutes and preserved in sterilized jars. Some cooks substitute honey for sugar.

Nutritional Value: The fruit is high in vitamin C and potassium. Philippine analyses show the following values for the edible portion: calories, 335 lb (737 kg); moisture, 77.88%; protein, 1.81%; fat, 0.2%; sugar, 16.19%; fiber 0.57%; ash, 0.85%.

Cultivation: Windowleaf is an easy houseplant to maintain. It tolerates dry air and semi-shade better than most plants. Add some liquid fertilize to the water every few weeks during the growing season. Direct the aerial roots into the potting medium to improve support for the weak stem. Wipe the dust from the leaves with a damp sponge periodically. Windowleaf does best in half shade or a moderately bright position, but not in direct sun. During active growth, water windowleaf plants thoroughly before the soil becomes dry. Water less in winter. Water with rain water or demineralized water. Windowleaf tolerates the dry air typical of most homes fairly well, but it appreciates a little misting when humidity is very low. USDA Zones 10 - 11. Windowleaf can be grown outside in tropical climates. In southern Florida they are often grown in half shade and allowed to climb large trees. House plants should not be exposed to temperatures below about 50ºF (10ºC) in winter or 55ºF (12.7ºC) at night in summer. Growth is best at temperatures of 70-75ºF (20-23.9ºC).

Propagation: Start new windowplants by cutting off a tip of stem just below an aerial root and potting the cutting. This can be done any time of the year.

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Warning: All parts of Monstera deliciosa are poisonous except the ripe fruits. The plant contains oxalic acid and even the ripe fruits may be an irritant to particularly sensitive people.Unripe fruit can cause swelling of mucous membranes. oral and skin irritation. Some individuals have experienced urticaria and anaphylaxis after eating ceriman. Some children and adults have reported diarrhea and intestinal gas after consuming the flesh or products made from it.



Split Leaf Philodenron
This specimen had climbed two stories high!

Comment: Split Leaf Philodenron, Monstera deliciosa

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