Common Names
Swiss Cheese Plant, Ceriman, Mexican Breadfruit, Monstera, Split-leaf Philodendron, Breadfruit Vine, Hurricane Plant, Fruit-salad Plant, and Cut-leaf Philodendron

Hawaiian Name

Scientific Name
Monstera deliciosa



Whole Plant





Location On Campus

This plant is located east of Kaiona building, right before stairs to Kalama Dining Hall. It is also by the Boys/Girls Locker Room by Keawe gym.


Natural Habitat

Throughout the Hawaiian islands, the Monstera deliciosa thrives in tropical and moist climates. It needs a constant supply of moisture, and needs irrigation when grown in a dry climate. It tolerates low light and low humidity.

Cultural Information

Native to southern Mexico, South America, Costa Rica and Panama. It is an introduced species (post-Cook) to Hawai‘i. Monstera deliciosa usually grows in the shade.

Plant Description


  • Aerial roots
  • Roots may or may not touch the ground
  • Carries nutrients in the soil to the plant
  • Rough texture
  • Light brown in color


  • Herbaceous stem
  • As long as 3,000 cm
  • Supports the roots
  • Grows straight up
  • Light green in color
  • One stem/trunk
  • Very thick stem


  • Simple leaves
  • One of the largest taro leaves
  • Heart shaped leaves
  • Holes in leaves
  • Can grow 2,000-3,000 cm long
  • Green or yellow-green color
  • Leathery texture
  • Pinnate venation
  • Evergreen leaf type


  • Occur in a spike, except for the ones that are sterile near the base of the spike
  • Flower have both female and male parts
  • A bract surrounds the flower
  • Cream white or yellow in color


  • Cone shaped, fleshy type of fruit
  • Made up of numerous berries
  • Color of a mature plant's fruit is usually yellow-green
  • Fruit is edible but causes a slight burn that lasts only a minute
  • Can take a year or longer to ripen


  • Seeds are pale green, and hard
  • May occur in a dozen or so of the segments of the plant

Life Cycle/

  • At the juvenile stage of development, small leaves and a long stem  form
  • They then move toward dark areas which might be trees
  • Monstera deliciosa then crawls up the tree trunk
  • Aerial roots form
  • Nodes (where the leaves are attached) start closing in by the stem
  • Leaves start getting bigger and bigger
  • Leaves also change shape and form
  • This is the mature stage of the development
  • If the vine loosens from the tree, it will lose support
  • The leaves will then fall apart from the vine, and leaves will get smaller and smaller
  • Monstera deliciosa in then back to its juvenile stage
  • Monstera deliciosa carries both the male and female parts of reproduction


  • Root portions of the main stem in fair propagation media, keep moist until started
  • Tall, leg-like plants must be air-layered and re-potted

Interesting Facts:

  • When fruit is green, some (calcium oxalate crystals) are contained in it
  • Calcium oxalate is irritating to the throat and mouth
  • Usually free of pests
  • Thrive as house plants
  • One of the largest taro vines
  • Can grow up to 30,000 cm in its native habitat
  • When grown as a house plant, however, it can only reach a height of 8,000 cm
  • Fast growth rate

Web Site Links


This website contains information on the description, origin and distribution, climate, soil, propagation, culture, season, harvesting, pests and diseases, food uses, toxicity, and other uses.

Monstera deliciosa {Arcacae}

The site has information on the description of plant (leaves, roots, etc).



Botany/Monstera. Tarragon Lane Ltd., Web Master. 2002. March 11 2003. <>

Brookes, John. House Plants. New York: Dorling Kindersly, 1990.

Ceriman. Julia F. Morton. 1987. Purdue University. 12 Mar. 2003. <>

Clay, Horace F. Tropical Exotics. Honolulu, Hawaii: The University of Hawai'i Press; 1997.

Courtright, Gordon. Tropicals. Portland: Timber Press, 1988.

How long it takes for a Monstera deliciosa to bloom?. Virtual Mirror.. March 13 2003. <>

Kelper, Angela Kay. Exotic Tropicals of Hawai'i. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1996.

Kelper, Angela Kay. Maui's Floral Splendor. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1995/98.

Monstera deliciosa{Arcacae}. Clinton Morse, Facility Manager. 13 Jan. 2003. University of Conneticut. 13 Mar. 2003. <>

Monstera deliciosa. Edward F. Gillman. Oct. 1999. University of Florida. 13 Mar. 2003. <>

Neal, Marie C. In Gardens of Hawaii. Honolulu, HI: Bernice P. Bishop Museum; 1948.

Scott, Susan. Plants and Animals of Hawai‘i. Honolulu, HI. Bess Press, 1991.

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