One of our favourites in the genus, because of its shingling habit when juvenile and incredible transformation this plant goes through to adulthood, Monstera dubia Engl. & Krause is a stout climber, often with fertile hanging shoots; the adult leaves drooping.
The vegetative adult stage is variable, relating in part to the type of tree in which it grows. The earliest adult leaves are entire, and if the individual is growing on an inadequate support it may flower at this stage. However, with a large tree to grow on it will produce first entire leaves, then pinnatifid ones, and finally pinnatifid-perforate leaves. These may have a drooping, falcate lamina to 1 meter in length.
Seedling: a stolon-like creeper, 1 – 2 mm in diameter, to 2 m long.
Juvenile: shingle plant, the lamina cordate, the sinus 5 – 10 mm deep, the apex mucronate; often variegated with silver flecks.
Adult stem: elliptic in cross section, roughly warty or tuberculate, rarely smooth, dark green to tan, with a thick cuticle; internodes 3 – 10 cm long, 1 – 2 cm thick and 1.5 -3.0 cm wide; axillary bud in depression which is extended into a sulcus the length of the internode. Petiole: warty or tuberculate at the base or along its length, 20 – 55 cm long, vaginate to the geniculum, the sheath wings neatly deciduous, the geniculum 4 – 7 cm long.
Leaf lamina amina: oblong-ovate, falcate and oblique, coriaceous, dull dark green above, paler below, 20 – 100 cm long, 13 – 50 cm wide, 1 + ½ - 2 times longer than wide; the earliest adult leaves entire and some individuals mature in this state, later leaves pinnatifid, the larger pinnatifid and with 1 – 3 rows of elliptic perforations per side, the perforations 2 – 8 cm long, the pinnae truncate; the leaf base rounded to subcordate with a sinus 1 – 2 cm deep, never broadly cordate, the apex acute; primary lateral veins 9 – 18 in number, cream-colored and prominent abaxially, furrowed adaxially, the secondary lateral veins reticulate.
The genus name Monstera ( modern Latin), comes perhaps from Latin monstrum ‘monster’ (because of the unusual appearance of the leaves in some species). (uncertain)
Name: Monstera dubia Engl. & Krause
Type: herbaceous evergreen
Form: Epiphytic chamaephytes
Native Range: Mexico (Chiapas) to S. Trop. America, Trinidad
Habitat: grows at low elevations and it characteristically climbs and hangs on large trees.
Height: up to 25m
Spread: up to 2,5m
Sun: Part shade
Tolerate: Semi Shade
Taxon identifiers : PlantList-ID : kew-129592; Tropicos ID : 2103032; IPNI plant ID : 163921-2; Global Biodiversity Information Facility ID : 2868179; Encyclopedia of Life ID : 1138105; iNaturalist taxon ID : 132173; TAXREF ID : 735342; WCSPF ID : 129592; Plants of the World online ID : urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:163921-2; IRMNG ID : 10238556; NCBI taxonomy ID : 2587644; CAB ID : 217460; World Flora Online ID : wfo-0000245739
Synonyms: ≡ Marcgravia dubia Kunth = Monstera acreana K.Krause = Monstera irritans Simmonds