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Monstera deliciosa


Monstera deliciosa

Family Name: Araceae
Synonyms: Philodendron pertusum
Common Name: Swiss-cheese Plant, Window Plant, Fruit Salad Plant, Split-leaf Philodendron, Ceriman


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Climber


Native Distribution Southern Mexico & Central America
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Large root climber 
Foliage Leaves leathery, mid to dark green, 30 - 90cm wide, blades dissected and with perforations. Petioles flattened, to 1m long. 
Flowers Inflorescence to 25 (30)cm long, spathe white
Fruit Compound fruit to 30(40)cm long by 9cm wide. Fruits hexagonal cells to 1cm wide, tightly fitted together, edges loosening when ripe. 
Cultivation Smaller specimens of this species are popular as house plants as it is tolerant of indoor light levels (i.e. very bright - bright shade). Large specimens are used for outdoor landscaping where it is allowed to sprawl on the ground or climb up very large trees. 
Etymology The name Monstera deliciosa literally means a 'Delicious Monstrosity', and points to the edible fruits that taste like a cross between pineapples and jackfruits (or bananas, in certain accounts).
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Others: Only the fully ripened fruits should be eaten. The unripe fruits contain oxalate crystals, and these can irritate the mouth and throat, causing inflammation of the tissues. According to certain sources, some individuals have also displayed such symptoms after consuming the ripe fruits. If unsure of whether one will develop symptoms for eating the fruit, do not consume it. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Sap, Large Heavy Fruits

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Other Mammal))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Disease / Pest Resistant, Easy to Grow
Planting Remarks This species can be planted on the ground, where it will creep along the substrate to form a sizeable ground cover. It can climb up trees if it is allowed to, where it will develop into a very large and heavy climber.  The clasping roots can leave marks on walls, so it should not be allowed to climb onto the walls as it can damage the paint works. 
Pest(s) Sucking Insects
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, White

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, White
Flower Texture(s) Leathery
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Inflorescence Type Spathe & Spadix

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden

Image Repository



Master ID 157
Species ID 1453
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 23 February 2022.