English names: Fruit salad plant, Swiss cheese plant
Latin name: Monstera deliciosa
Family: Arum - Araceae
Origin: From southern Mexico to Columbia
The fruit salad plant is a strongly-growing green vine, often more than 10 metres tall, with strong aerial roots on the stem. The leaves are at first full and, as the plant climbs up and receives more light, they feature larger lobes and holes. The inflorescence is flask-shaped, about 30 cm. long, and surrounded by a huge white sheath. The plant produces small, fragrant, cone-shaped berries that are edible when ripe and taste rather like a hybrid of pineapple and banana. However, they contain a great deal of oxalic acid and other toxins, which can lead to irritation or damage to mucous membranes. The fruit salad plant is a popular potted plant.