Family: Araceae

Native to the tropical Americas and the West Indies, this genus of sturdy, evergreen climbers has large, glossy green, leathery, irregularly divided leaves, quite often perforated, and large, arum lily-like, boat-shaped flowers. The unusual fruit matures from the centre of the flower structure. The aerial roots produced along the stem attach themselves to available support which must be very sturdy.


M. acuminata, shingle plant, is from Central America. It has flattened stems and 25 cm (10 in) long leaves.

M. adansonii produces 90 cm (36 in) long leaves and smaller, more slender fruit than M. deliciosa.

M. deliciosa, Swiss cheese plant, has deeply divided, dark green leaves, 45-60 cm (18-24 in) across, and large, edible fruit, with a fruit salad taste. The dissected leaves have oval to elliptical holes between some of the lateral veins. In its natural habitat, it is a robust climbing plant. Whether grown indoors or outside, these plants generally develop aerial roots. These should be trained down into the pot or soil.


Monstera is a popular house or conservatory plant which needs warm conditions. Grow in a pot of soil-based potting compost. Shade from direct sun but ensure good light. Provide humidity. If necessary, prune in spring to reduce size. Propagate from leaf cuttings in summer with basal warmth. Air layer in spring or summer.


Best in tropical climates, but also subtropical.

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Climate zone map
Molucella      Moraea