A Tale of Monstrous Proportions

— feeling frankenstein

 

A tropical species, Monstera deliciosa, is a really fast climbing vine. It is also a very interesting plant. For instance, its name can literally be translated into "delicious monster".

 

 

 

The next interesting thing about the Monster is its inflorescence. It consists of an erect spadix that is shaped like a corn cob. Its white flowers that, of course, just had to be of the tiniest size are protected by a boat-shaped spathe.

 

The flowers

 

 

It belongs to the family, Araceae. You can see the resemblance here:

 

Arum lilies - same family

 

The Monster isn't done being awesome yet! The spadix forms an armored fruit that is covered in hexagonal scales.

 

Thought I was making this up, did you?

 

After ripening for one whole year, the fruit is ready to shed the scales. (The scales have to fall on their own, no attempting to eat the fruit otherwise.) The insides are a soft yellow color. Wait, that isn't the surprising part. That part is its taste. Also called the fruit salad plant, its fruit tastes like pineapples, bananas, grapes, mangoes, jackfruits, and strawberries.

 

Texturally, it is similar to custard apple

 

 

 

 

Have you guys eaten custard apple (Shareefa, in Urdu)?

 

Its freakiness knows no bounds

 

Doesn't It?

 

All parts of the Monster, including the unripe fruit, are chock full of oxalic acid and can cause blistering, irritation, and swelling!

 

Even though, the Monster has a heart or heart-shaped leaves, they become fenestrated (I love you, weird word!) as they mature.

 

Hence the name, the Swiss Cheese Plant

 

In this research article, the author theorizes that because of its unusual shape, the leaves have a better chance of receiving similar amounts of light from sunflecks. It is better to receive a little bit of light, provided that it is received every day rather than receive a high amount one day and none the next.

 

One of the commenters wrote:

In about a year it covered four square metres of the floor of our living room. We presented it to the zoological garden where it has lived happily for years with the crocodiles.

I think that is an appropriate place for the Monster!

 

#BPotD #Botany #Monster Plant #Botany is Awesome

Source: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/potd/2015/08/monstera-deliciosa.php