7 Monstera Fun Facts: Discover the Amazing Secrets of This Tropical Plant!

In the world of houseplants, few species have captivated plant enthusiasts and interior designers like the Monstera.

Known for its iconic “Swiss cheese” leaves, this tropical plant has taken over Instagram feeds and homes worldwide.

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For those enchanted by this beautiful plant, there is so much more to it than meets the eye. Beyond the familiar appearance of the Monstera’s leaves, a myriad of fascinating facts await.

Stay tuned as we uncover 7 entertaining and educational fun facts about Monstera deliciosa!

Related: 7 Monstera Growing Myths – Debunked!

1. Monstera’s Literary Debut

Book in foreground with monstera in background

Way back in 1693, the Monstera appeared in Western literature, thanks to French botanist Charles Plumier.

He documented the plant in his account of the vegetation of Martinique, naming it Arum Hederaceum, Amplis Foliis Perforatis, known today as Monstera Adansonii.

And that catchy name “Monstera”? It only came onto the scene in 1763, when Adanson used it in his book “Familles des Plantes.”

By 1832, our dear plant got a bit of a rebrand by Schott, landing on its now-famous name, Monstera Adansonii.

The year 1840 marked 150 years since the Monstera started appearing in European writings. Although it was known from the West Indies to Brazil, only the M. adansonii species had been officially recognized.

People cultivated the young Monstera Dubia, thinking it was Marcgravia Dubia, unaware it was actually an aroid.

Then in the same year, things spiced up! Monstera Deliciosa was discovered independently in Mexico by Liebmann and in Guatemala by Warszewicz.

2. Monstera Deliciosa’s European Journey

In just 70 years after its discovery, Monstera deliciosa found its way from the West Indies to European botanical gardens, known then as Dracontium pertusum L.

The plant’s journey began when Wilhelm Friedrich von Karwinsky collected a specimen in Mexico in 1832.

In the 1840s, Frederik Michael Liebmann and Josef Ritter von Warszewicz sent live plants from Mexico and Guatemala to European gardens, where they were quickly propagated and shared.

By 1858, Monstera had fruited in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, with most plants today tracing back to the originals from Liebmann and Warszewicz.

Monstera deliciosa is rare in the wild, naturally found in southern Mexico and Guatemala.

Its slow growth from seeds and reliance on trees for support makes it hard to thrive in the wild. But as a houseplant, it flourishes quickly from cuttings.

Today, the U.K.’s Royal Horticultural Society has awarded the Monstera Deliciosa and the ‘Variegata’ cultivar its prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

3. Function of Monstera’s Signature Holes

Monstera’s intriguing leaves give the plant its name—’Monstera’ means “monstrous” or “abnormal” in Latin. These leathery, dark green leaves are famously perforated with holes, known as fenestration.

Ever wondered about the holes in Monstera’s leaves? These holes, or fenestrations, are like nature’s Swiss Army knife.

Fenestration serves several functions. Firstly, it allows the leaves to cover a larger area with less energy spent on producing and maintaining them, increasing their sunlight exposure.

Secondly, it reduces the chances of tearing in high winds and helps them withstand heavy rainfall by letting the elements pass through. This feature also maximizes rain reaching the plant’s roots.

Read more: Why Do Monstera Leaves Split? And How To Encourage That

4. Monstera’s Mighty Growth

The Monstera Deliciosa is a remarkable vine that can climb up to 66 feet high in the wild, using its aerial roots to latch onto trees.

Its large leaves can reach a whopping 35 inches in length, making it a true giant in the plant world.

Another member of the Monstera family, the Monstera Dubia, takes it a step further with leaves that can grow up to 51 inches long.

But don’t worry, when kept as a houseplant, the Monstera Deliciosa is a bit more modest, usually growing to heights of 6 to 9 feet.

5. Monsteras Produce Rare Blooms

A close-up shot of a ripe Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) flowering fruit.

Ever wondered if the iconic Monstera blooms? In the wild, they bloom unpredictably, but witnessing this event indoors is quite uncommon.

Monstera flowers comprise a central spadix surrounded by a protective spathe, varying in color from white to yellow or even green.

The renowned Monstera deliciosa produces creamy-white flowers that can extend up to 12 inches in length.

Differing species of Monstera yield varying numbers of spadix clusters; for instance, Monstera obliqua might produce up to eight clusters, while Monstera lechleriana typically has only one.

In their natural environment, these flowers attract pollinators such as beetles, bees, and select flies. To mitigate the risk of cross-pollination, the female flower parts mature earlier than their male counterparts.

And while they might attract beetles, bees, and flies in the wild, remember: Monstera flowers aren’t for snacking.

6. Monstera Produces A Fruitful Surprise

Monstera fruit dissected on a wooden plate

The Monstera deliciosa is more than just a striking houseplant; it also hides a culinary surprise. This unique plant produces a rare and intriguing fruit known as the ceriman or monstera fruit.

Resembling a tropical art piece, the fruit is made up of creamy-white hexagonal scales that naturally fall away when ripe, revealing a delicious pulp that combines the flavors of banana and pineapple.

However, the monstera fruit requires patience, taking up to a year or more to ripen.

The wait is well worth it, as this exotic fruit is not only a taste sensation but also packed with nutrients, boasting high levels of potassium and Vitamin C.

One essential tip: wait until the outer scales detach naturally before indulging in this tropical treat.

Eating an unripe monstera fruit can result in discomfort and a less-than-enjoyable taste.

To learn more, check out this article: The Amazing Monstera Perk You Never Knew About: It Has Edible Fruit!

7. Monstera’s Mark on Pop Culture

Monstera deliciosa has taken the world of pop culture by storm. From fashion to art, let’s explore the far-reaching influence of this captivating tropical plant.

Monstera’s reach extends to the world of fashion and social media, where its distinctive split leaves have become a popular motif for clothing and accessories.

Trendy tote bags, tropical dresses, and even phone cases sport the Monstera design. It’s a favorite among Instagrammers too, often featured in aesthetic displays. The art world hasn’t been immune to Monstera’s allure.

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As Monstera continues to charm the world, it plays a significant role in shaping today’s pop culture, reminding us all of the beauty and intrigue found within the tropical plant kingdom.

Nature’s Marvel: The Unending Appeal of the Monstera Plant

The Monstera plant has captivated us with its iconic split leaves and intriguing secrets.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, it offers a host of fascinating features from its air-purifying abilities to its edible fruit.

Its journey from the rainforests of Central America to our homes and its influence in pop culture make the Monstera a truly remarkable plant.

With Monstera plants continuing to gain popularity, it’s clear that their captivating features and exciting variations offer unparalleled beauty and joy to plant lovers everywhere.

The fascinating world of Monstera is proof that nature never ceases to amaze and inspire!

7 Monstera Fun Facts: Discover the Amazing Secrets of This Tropical Plant!