|MONSTERA DELICIOSA - Ceriman, Swiss Cheese Plan |
A jungle climbing relative of the philodendron from Mexico and Guatemala. It is seen in gardens in tropical and subtropical areas, growing well in partial sun or shade. The plant begins bearing after three years. Popular as a houseplant, it seldom fruits in the home. The large pinnate leaves are perforated with oblong or oval holes, hence one common name. The 9", dull, deep green, cone-like fruit is actually an unripened flower spike, covered with hexagonal scales that dry out and separate as the fruit ripens from the base upwards, revealing the white pulp. It takes a little longer than a year to mature to an edible stage. Unripe fruit, if eaten causes irritation to the mouth and throat because of the oxalic acid. It can be induced to ripen by picking when the base has started to wrinkle and wrapping in a bag for a few days. When unwrapped, the scales should have separated. Propagated by cuttings of mature wood or air layering.