Monstera, Ceriman - Monstera deliciosa Liebm.

Monstera deliciosa
Fig. 1
Monstera deliciosa

Leaf
Fig. 2

Underside of leaf
Fig. 3
Underside of leaf

New leaf emerging
Fig. 4
New leaf emerging

Trunk habit
Fig. 5

Monstera deliciosa (habit). Maui, Lowes Garden Center Kahului
Fig. 6
Monstera deliciosa (habit). Maui, Lowes Garden Center Kahului

Stems
Fig. 7
Monstera deliciosa (stems). Maui, Makawao, Hawaii

Monstera deliciosa (habit). Maui, makawao
Fig. 8
Monstera deliciosa (habit). Maui, Makawao, Hawaii

Monster fruit, Monsterio Delicio, Monstereo, Swiss Cheese Plant or Mexican Breadfruit
Fig. 12
Monster fruit, Monsterio Delicio, Monstereo, Swiss Cheese Plant or Mexican Breadfruit

Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant) Flower. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii.
Fig. 13 
 Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant) Flower. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii

Flower and buds of Monstera deliciosa, in the grounds of Old Government House, Auckland
Fig. 14
Flower and buds of Monstera deliciosa, in the grounds of Old Government House, Auckland

Waxy, white spather that later drops
Fig. 15 
Waxy, white spather that later drops

Monstera deliciosa, cultivated, Townsville - close-up of fresh flower, with tiny flies and (out of focus at lower right) a native bee (Trigona sp. or similar) attracted to it. The background of the photo is the flower's hood
Fig. 16
Monstera deliciosa, cultivated, Townsville - close-up of fresh flower, with tiny flies and (out of focus at lower right) a native bee (Trigona sp. or similar) attracted to it. The background of the photo is the flower's hood.

Self peeling bananas, taste like pineapples. Funchal Public Market
Fig. 17
Self peeling bananas, taste like pineapples. Funchal Public Market

Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant). Fruit on display. Maui County Fair Kahului
Fig. 18
Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant). Fruit on display. Maui County Fair Kahului

Ripe fruit showing detail
Fig. 19
Monstera deliciosa: ripen fruit with inside details

Adult lubber grasshopper in light color phase
Fig. 28
Adult lubber grasshopper in light color phase


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Scientific name
Monstera deliciosa Liebm.
Pronunciation
mawn-STEER-ruh dee-liss-see-OH-suh 3
Common names
In Mexico and other Latin American countries it is known as pinanona, or pina anona, but in Venezuela it is called ojul or huracan; in Colombia, hojadillo; in Guatemala, harpon or arpon comun. In Guadeloupe it is caroal, liane percee, or liane franche; in Martinique, siguine couleurre; in French Guiana, arum du pays or arum troud. In Brazil it is catalogued by a leading nursery as ananas japonez (Japanese pineapple). 1 English: monstera, ceriman, windowleaf, cut-leaf philodendron, swiss-cheese plant, split-leaf philodendron 2
Synonyms
Monstera borsigiana Engl.; M. deliciosa var. borsigiana (Engl.) Engl. & K. Krause; M. deliciosa var. sierrana G.S. Bunting; M. lennea K.Koch; M. tacanaensis Matuda; P. anatomicum Kunth 5
Relatives
Monstera lechleriana, M. friedrichsthalii, M. dissecta, and M. pertusa (all ornamental houseplants). Numerous Philodendron species including the common landscape plant P. bipinnatifidum      
Family
Areacea
Origin
Native to wet forests of southern Mexico, Guatemala and parts of Costa Rica and Panama 2
USDA hardiness zones
10b-11
Uses
Container or above-ground planter; culinary 4
Height
May exceed 70 ft (21 m) in length if left unpruned
Plant habit
Herbacious vine
Growth rate
Fast growing
Trunk/bark/branches
Usually one very thick stem (Fig. 3) 4
Pruning requirement
Can become very large if they are not cut back to contain their size 2
Leaves
Alternate, simple, lobed, ovate; 3-4 ft high (0.9–1.2 m), evergreen, oblong holes (Fig. 6), deeply notched margins (Fig. 5)
Flower
Tiny, perfect: both male and female
Fruit
Compound, elongated, 10"+, rind has tile like hexagonal scales, pulp off-white, juicy, sweet
USDA Nutrient Content
Season
June through October; the fruit can take a year or longer to ripen 4
Light requirement
Light shade (filtered sunlight) 2
Soil tolerances
Sligntly alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam 4
Drought tolerance
Moderate
Flood tolerance
Not tolerant of flooded or excessively wet soil conditions 2
Soil salt tolerance
Poor
Cold tolerance
Leaves are damaged or killed at 30 to 32°F (-1.0 to 0°C);stems at 26 to 28°F (-2 to -3°C) 2
Plant spacing
20 or more ft (6.1 m or more) away from trees and other plants and electrical poles 2
Roots
Long, aerial, tentacle-like roots taking root when they touch the ground 2
Invasive potential *
Not known to be invasive
Pest resistance
Not usually affected by pests
Known hazard
All parts of the plant are poisonous; unripe fruit contains irritating calcium oxalate crystals

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Reading Material

Monstera Growing in the Florida Landscape from the University of Florida pdf 4 pages
Monstera Deliciosa from the University of Florida pdf
Cerinam from Julia Morton's Book Fruits of Warm Climates
Cultural Practices from the University of Florida
Ceriman, Delicious Monster from Green Deane of Eat the Weeds and Other Things Too



Origin

Monstera is indigenous to the hot, humid, tropical forests of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama. 2

Description
Monstera is a fast growing broadleaf vine with a cylindrical, thick stem 2 to 4 inches (5–10 cm) in diameter that may grow along the ground or, if allowed, will climb onto trees and structures. The vine may exceed 70 ft (21 m) in length if left unpruned. The vine stem is covered with leaf scars from previous leaves and from it develop numerous, long, cord-like aerial roots. Left uncontrolled, the vine may be somewhat invasive i.e., take over the landscape or climb trees. 2

Philodendron species can be found in many diverse habitats in the tropical Americas and the West IndiesMonstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant). Habit and water feature. Iao Tropical Gardens of Maui, Maui, HawaiiGrowth habit
Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11

Fig. 9. Philodendron species can be found in many diverse habitats in the tropical Americas and the West Indies
Fig. 10. Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant). Habit and water feature. Iao Tropical Gardens of Maui, Maui, Hawaii

Flowers
The bloom of Split-Leaf Philodendron is a 12-inch-long, white, calla-like spadix and it is sometimes followed by the unusual, edible fruit which tastes much like a cross of pineapple and banana. The fruit can take a year or longer to ripen, but only under the exacting conditions of proper warmth, high humidity, and bright light typical of USDA hardiness zone 10. 4
Flowering and fruiting overlap because it requires 12 to 14 months from the opening of the inflorescence to the maturity of the fruit. Therefore, there are often unopened inflorescences, immature fruits and ripening fruits together on the same plant. The current year's crop is ripening through summer and fall while the following year's crop is forming beside it. 1

Fruit
The fruit is called a spadix and is made up of numerous cohering berries. At first the spadix is sheltered by a waxy, white, spathe (bract) (Fig. 13) that later drops off. The compound fruit is cylindrical, green, 8 to 14 inches (20-36 cm) long and 2 to 3 1-2 inches (5-9 cm) in diameter. The peel is thick, hard, and made up of hexagonal plates (scales) that cover individual segments of ivory colored, juicy, flavorful pulp. Among the fruit segments are small, black particles which are the remnants of flowers. Generally, there are no seeds, although sometimes small, pale-green seeds are produced. 2
The fruit or Ceriman will grow even without pollination, about 25 cm (10) long. Immature fruit (green) contains calcium oxalate which is toxic. The fruit should not be consumed before maturity (yellow).

Immature fruitDifferent stages of fruitNote the dead cataphyll at the leaf petiole, plus the dead spathe around one spadix.
Fig. 20 Fig. 21 Fig. 22
Monstera deliciosaMonstera deliciosa. We have a plant in our new house. Didn't know if it was edible at first. Yum.Monstera deliciosa : ripen fruits with inside details
Fig. 23 Fig. 24 Fig. 25

Fig. 21. Different stages of fruiting
Fig. 22. Note the dead cataphyll at the leaf petiole, plus the dead spathe around one spadix
Fig. 23. Fruiting habit
Fig. 24. Monstera deliciosa. We have a plant in our new house. Didn't know if it was edible at first. Yum.
Fig. 25.
Monstera deliciosa: ripen fruits with inside details

Varieties
Few named monstera varieties exist. There are a number of varieties with variegated leaves including ‘Variegata’, ‘Albovariegata’, and ‘Marmorata’; however, the quality of their fruit is not known and they may be hard to find in the nursery trade in Florida. Caution: these varieties may not have edible fruit. 2

Harvesting
Mature fruit ready to harvest turn from green to a lighter green and the tile-like segments at the base of the fruit begin to separate slightly, making it appear somewhat bulged. Fruit may then be cut from the plant, leaving 1 inch or more of the stem. To ripen the fruit, it keep it at room temperature (78-82°F; 26-28°F) for 5 to 6 days during which time it will ripen from the base toward the apex (top). The pulp should only be eaten from that portion of the fruit that easily falls off the core (stem). This is because immature sections of the fruit contain oxalic acid crystals that cause severe discomfort when swallowed. 2

Propagation
Propagation is by means of stem cuttings, which may be simply set in beds or pots in the ground where the vine is intended to grow. Suckers or offshoots, with or without roots, can be separated from parent plants and transplanted successfully. Plants generated from cuttings may come into bearing in 4 to 6 years, whereas suckers begin fruit production in 2 to 4 years. 2

Monstera deliciosa (Windowleaf), stem cutting with fresh sproutNew growth on small stem cutting
Fig. 26 Fig. 27

Fig. 26. Monstera deliciosa (Windowleaf), stem cutting with fresh sprout
Fig. 27. New growth on small stem cutting

Planting
Dig a hole 3 to 4 times the diameter and 3 times as deep as the container the monstera vine came in. Making a large hole loosens the soil next to the new vine, making it easy for the roots to expand into the adjacent soil. It is not necessary to apply fertilizer, topsoil, or compost to the hole. 2

Fertilizing
Monstera fertilizer requirements do not appear to be high. After planting, when new growth begins, apply ¼ lb (113 g) of a complete dry fertilizer mix with 20 to 30% of the nitrogen from organic sources. Micronutrient applications should be made 2 to 3 times per year, generally during the growing season. Iron should be applied in a chelated formulation. 2

Irrigation
Although monstera vines are moderately drought tolerant, especially when grown in the shade, periodic watering during dry periods will result in better growth and larger fruit. 2

Pests
When grown indoors, the plants are subject to infestation by scale insects, mites and mealybugs. Outdoors, they are usually pest-free. However, in dry seasons in Florida, the lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera) has rapidly consumed entire leaves, leaving only the base of the midrib and the petiole. In India, wire cages are placed around developing fruits to protect them from rats, squirrels, monkeys and other creatures.

Adult lubber grasshopper in intermediate color phaseAdult lubber grasshopper in dark color phase
Fig. 29 Fig. 30

Fig.  29. Adult lubber grasshopper in intermediate color phase
Fig.  39. Adult lubber grasshopper in dark color phase

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera (Beauvois) from the University of Florida pdf 7 pages

Diseases
The following diseases have been recorded in Florida: leaf spot caused by Leptosphaeria sp., Macrophoma philodendri, Phytophthora sp., and Pseudomonas cichorri; anthracnose from Glomerella cingulata; bacterial soft rot from infection by Erwinia carotovora; and root rot caused by Pythium splendens and Rhizoctonia solani.

Toxicity
The oxalic acid, and possibly other unidentified principles, in the unripe fruit, the floral remnants of the ripe fruit, and all parts of the plant, cause oral and skin irritation. Some sensitive individuals claim that even the ripe fruit irritates the throat. It would be well to avoid eating the ceriman in quantity until it is determined that there are no undesirable reactions. 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. 1

Food Uses
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. 1
In general, monstera is eaten as a fresh fruit, although the pulp may be used as an ingredient in desserts. The fruit contains large amounts of oxalic acid, and it is not recommended to eat large quantities of this fruit at any one time. 2

Medicinal Uses **
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. 1

Other Uses
The aerial roots have been used as ropes in Peru. In Mexico, they are fashioned into coarse, strong baskets. 1


Further Reading
The Monster in Your Garden by G. Joyner from the Tropical Fruit News of the Miami Tropical Fruit Council



List of Growers and Vendors


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Bibliography

1 Morton, J. "Ceriman". hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of warm climates, p. 15-17. 1987. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.

2 Crane, Jonathan H. and Balerdi, Carlos F.. "Monstera Growing in the Florida Home Landscape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS1071, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date Feb. 2005. Revised Nov. 2016. Web. 29 Dec. 2016.

3 Deane, Green . "Ceriman, Delicious Monster". eattheweeds.com.  Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

4 Gilman, Edward F. "Monstera deliciosa." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is Fact Sheet FPS-414, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication Oct. 1999. (Archived). Web. 12 Feb. 2015.
5  "Monstera deliciosa Liebm." The Plant List (2010). Version 1. theplantlist.org. Web. 29 Dec. 2016.

Photographs

Fig. 1 Maguire, Ian. Monstera deliciosa. From the Tropical Fruit Photography Picture Archive. trec.ifas.ufl.edu.  Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

Fig. 2,3 Starr, Forest and Kim. Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant). 2008. Lowes Garden Center Kahului, Maui. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

Fig. 4,5  Kwan. Monstera deliciosa. 2008. natureloveyou.sg. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

Fig. 6,8 Starr, Forest and Kim. Monstera deliciosa (habit). 2008. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.
Fig. 7 Starr, Forest and Kim. Monstera deliciosa (stems). 2008. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig.  Starr, Forest and Kim. Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant) Leaf and flower. 2008. Makawao, Maui. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

Fig. 8 Starr, Forest and Kim. Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant) Fruiting habit. 2011. Kula Botanical, Maui. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

Fig. 9 Peixoto, Rosina. Philodendron species can be found in many diverse habitats in the tropical Americas and the West Indies. 2010. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 10 Starr, Forest and Kim. Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant) Habit and water feature. 2012. Iao Tropical Gardens of Maui, Maui. starrenvironmental.com.  Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

Fig. 11,20 Carr, Gerald,D. Monstera deliciosa, Areacea. N.d. University of Hawaii, Botany Department, Manoa Campus Plants. botany.hawaii.edu. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

Fig. 12 Hagens, Wouter. Monster fruit, Monsterio Delicio, Monstereo, Swiss Cheese Plant or Mexican Breadfruit. 2001. commons.wikimedia.org. Public domain. Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 13 Starr, Forest & Kim. Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant) Flower. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii. 2008. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 14 Avenue. Flower and buds of Monstera deliciosa, in the grounds of Old Government House, Auckland. 2006. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 15 St-John, H. Monstera deliciosa, Areacea. N.d. University of Hawaii, Botany Department, Manoa Campus Plants. botany.hawaii.edu. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

Fig. 16 Tattersall, Malcolm. Monstera deliciosa, cultivated, Townsville - close-up of fresh flower, with tiny flies and (out of focus at lower right) a native bee (Trigona sp. or similar) attracted to it. The background of the photo is the flower's hood. 2010. flickr.com. Under  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 3 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 17 Nash, Andrew. Self peeling bananas, taste like pineapples. Funchal Public Market. 2011. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 2.0).  Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 18 Starr, Forest and Kim. Monstera deliciosa (Swiss-cheese plant). Fruit on display. Maui County Fair Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. 2012. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 19,25 B.navez. Monstera deliciosa: ripen fruits with inside details. 2006. commons.wikimedia.org. Under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 and (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 21 Jackson, Karen. "Monstera deliciosa Series." 2013. growables.org. JPG file.

Fig. 22 Richfield, Jon. Note the dead cataphyll at the leaf petiole, plus the dead spathe around one spadix. 2011. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 23 Stefano. Monstera deliciosa. 2014.  flickr.com. Under  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 3 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 24 Pearson, Cris. Monstera deliciosa. We have a plant in our new house. Didn't know if it was edible at first. Yum. 2006. flickr.com. Under  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 3 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 26,27 Kraft, Sönke aka zu Linden, Arnulf. Monstera deliciosa (Windowleaf), stem cutting with fresh sprout. 2009. commons.wikimedia.org. Under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2, (CC BY-SA 3.0),  (CC BY-SA 2.5), (CC BY-SA 1.0). Web. 2 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 28,29,30 Capinera, John. Eastern lubber grasshopper. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.

Published 12 Feb. 2015 LR. Last update 3 Jan. 2017 LR
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