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Monstera deliciosa
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Monsteroideae
Tribe: Monstereae
Genus: Monstera
  • Tornelia Gutierrez ex Schott
  • Serangium Wood ex Salisb.

Monstera is a genus of 59 species of flowering plants in the arum family, Araceae, native to tropical regions of the Americas.[2]


The genus is named from the Latin word for "monstrous" or "abnormal", and refers to the unusual leaves with natural holes that members of the genus have.[3]


Growth pattern[edit]

They are herbs or evergreen vines, growing to heights of 20 metres (66 ft) in trees, climbing by means of aerial roots which act as hooks over branches; these roots will also grow into the soil to help support the plant. Since the plant roots both into the soil and over trees, it is considered a hemiepiphyte.[4]


The leaves are alternate, leathery, dark green, very large, from 25–90 centimetres (9.8–35.4 in) long (up to 300 centimetres (120 in) long in M. gigas) and 15–75 centimetres (5.9–29.5 in) broad, often with holes in the leaf blade. The fenestrated leaves allow for the leaves to spread over greater area to increase sunlight exposure, and to allow light to reach other leaves below, by using less energy to produce and maintain the leaves.[5]

Monstera lechleriana leaf


The flowers are borne on a specialized inflorescence called a spadix, 5–95 centimetres (2.0–37.4 in) long; the fruit is a cluster of berries, with significant variation in color, edible in some species.

Monstera adansonii
Monstera adansonii


Monstera deliciosa vine
Large Monstera deliciosa

They are commonly grown indoors as houseplants. The best-known representative of the genus, Monstera deliciosa, is also cultivated for its edible fruit which tastes like a combination of peach and pineapple.


As of November 2022 Plants of the World Online recognizes 70 accepted taxa (of 64 species and 6 infraspecific names):[2][6]

Monstera sp. under grow light

Previously included:[clarification needed][citation needed]

  • Monstera alticola Croat
  • Monstera bocatorana Croat & Grayum
  • Monstera coloradensis Croat
  • Monstera fortunense Croat
  • Monstera gigantea (Roxb.) Schott - Epipremnum giganteum (Roxb.) Schott
  • Monstera jefense Croat
  • Monstera pirrense Croat

Commonly misidentified as Monstera:


  1. ^ "Monstera". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 3 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Monstera". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  3. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. Vol. 3 M-Q. CRC Press. p. 1723. ISBN 978-0-8493-2677-6.
  4. ^ Eskov, A. K.; Zhukovskaya, N. V.; Bystrova, E. I.; Orlova, Yu. V.; Antipina, V. A.; Ivanov, V. B. (2016). "Growth of aerial roots with an extensive elongation zone by the example of a hemiepiphyte Monstera deliciosa". Russian Journal of Plant Physiology. 63 (6): 822–834. doi:10.1134/S1021443716060042. S2CID 11839082.
  5. ^ Choi, Charles (2013-01-22). "ScienceShot: Why Are There Holes in the Swiss Cheese Plant?". Science | AAAS. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  6. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Monstera". Germplasm Resources Information Network. USDA. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2013.

External links[edit]