Monday, 5 March 2012

Monstera deliciosa;

The flower

Monstera deliciosa   is a creeping vine native to tropical rainforests of southern Mexico south to Colombia.

Forming the fruit

This member of the Arum family is an epiphyte with aerial roots, able to grow up to 20 m high with large, leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves 25–90 cm long by 25–75 cm broad. 
Wild seedlings grow towards the darkest area they can find until they find a tree trunk, then start to grow up towards the light, creeping up the tree.

When fully grown, the fruit is up to  30 cm long and 7-8 cm diameter, looking like a green ear of maize covered with hexagonal scales.

The leaves look very attractive too.

Fruits of plants of the Araceae (Arum family) often contain Raphides and Trichosclereids – needle like structures of calcium oxalate.
The fruit may be ripened by cutting it when the first scales begin to lift up and it begins to exude a pungent odor. It is set aside until the scales begin popping off. The scales are then brushed off or fall away to reveal the edible flesh underneath. The flesh, which is similar to pineapple in texture, can be cut away from the core and eaten. It has a fruity taste similar to banana,  jackfruit and pineapple. The unripe green fruits can irritate the throat and the latex of the leaves and vines can create rashes in the skin, because both contain potassium oxalate: that's the reason why the fruits have to be consumed when the scales lift up.

 When the fruit of the plant is ready to eat, it smells heavenly and  it has a flavor evocative of fruit salad. A fruit having a taste mixture of pineapple and banana.The fruit is high in vitamin C and potassium. 

Believe it or not:

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship;
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one
when he discovers that someone else believes in him
and is willing to trust him.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

© TS Photos


  1. I've never seen a fruit on my Monstera growing here, nor on the one that grew at my last home. I wonder if the plant has to be a certain age before it fruits or maybe I've just never noticed! The fruit does sound delicious. Love the last shot. Is that a view out into your back garden at the moment? You've got some lovely colour out there if it is.

    1. Bernie, generally they bear quite early many fruit. The picture is from the eastern side, at the moment it is a bit drab, because I have to replant the baskets for autumn. Summer has taken its toll! this photo was taken when this corner of the garden was in full bloom. Thank you for your visit. T♥

  2. This is a very interesting post.
    I didn't know the fruit was edible.
    Have to search for the fruit in our supermarkets.
    Your garden looks very lovely. I am dreaming of spring, but I have to wait a little bit longer. Tonight the temperature will go down to -13C.
    Thank you for sharing your 'Köstliches Fensterblatt' pictures.
    LG Gisela

    1. Hi Gisela, nice to hear from you. I am not sure if you will find them in the super market, because they have such an erratic ripening behaviour. Once they start to ripen they shed their green scales quickly. Minus 13 is still so cold; but I guess once winter is over the hurdle spring comes quickly. LG T♥

  3. My grandmother had a huge monstera in her backyard and we would eat them when we visited. I loved them but couldn't eat a lot. My mouth would start to feel prickly, as I recall. I haven't tasted one in many years.

  4. Hi Missy, yes I know what yo mean; the fruit contains calcium oxalate needle like structures which are there if the fruit is not absolutely ripe. We eat every day a little as the fruit ripens in sections. thank you for your comment. T♥

  5. Hi Titania, sieht aus wie eine Ananas, nur weisslich. Ich würde die Frucht probieren, wenn du es empfiehlst, doch hier wächst sie kaum oder dann im Topf als Hauspflanze und viel, viel kleiner. Dein Garten ist wirklich immer wieder eine Freude anzusehen-:)

    Den Spruch von Emerson ist klasse, ich mag seine Zitate sehr, es muss ein aussergewöhnlicher Mensch gewesen sein.
    Nach einem Vorgeschmack auf den Frühling mit 15 Grad C, ist es wieder kalt geworden hier, doch glücklicherweise keine Minusgrade.
    Schönen Nachmittag und Abend!
    Liebe Grüsse

  6. A good descriptive post about the Monstera. I have them growing but I don't eat the fruit very often because of the prickly needles. My friend loves them so I give them to her.

    1. Hi Diane, that's a good idea! It is also a nice, tropical looking climber to have in the garden. T♥

  7. Liebe Elfe, die Frucht muss sehr reif sein, die Schuppen müssen von selber abfallen, dh. sie muss sich selber schälen, sonst ist sie giftig und hat feine Stacheln aus calcium oxalate, man koennte sie gar nicht essen. Du freust dich sicher auf den Fühling und die Tage werden länger derweil es hier wieder früh dunkel wird. ♥lichst T.

  8. Your garden looks lovely! The leaves of the Monstera are amazing and the ripe fruit sounds delicious.

  9. This plant is gigantic! About the edible fruits, well I learnt something new today.

  10. It's an amazing plant indeed, Titania, very attractive the flower and the leaves.
    Beautiful images and so true Emerson's quote.
    Happy Sunday!

  11. Thank you, dear Autumn Belle. T♥

  12. Dear Pietro, thank you and a happy week.

  13. Never knew this fruit can be eaten and never cut one before. Will do next time. Wonderful discovery! Thanks.

  14. I am not very adventurous, I had lots of frutis in my garden, but I didn't dare to eat them. Your photos are great