Monkey Leaf Overview
Monstera adansonii is an evergreen, climbing species from the Araceae family, commonly known by the names Monkey Leaf or Monkey Mask. It is capable of growing over 6m tall, providing good support is given - moss poles are a common choice. Native to tropical rainforests, this plant climbs using aerial roots and is classified as an epiphyte. It may be kept indoors as a distinctive foliage houseplant and this is the main reason it is cultivated. Allow to dry out a little between waterings and keep out of direct sunlight. It produces white arum-like flowers typical of the aroid family. Leaves are slightly rough in texture, and heart-shaped. Foliage is mostly whole in young specimens but changes structure with age - developing larger characteristic holes. There are cultivars with attractive variegated foliage available, such as Monstera adansonii 'Archipelago'. Monstera adansonii is often confused with the related species M. obliqua which is a rarer plant, not commonly found in cultivation (its main distinguishing feature being the thickness and texture of the leaves, that are paper-thin and smooth). Can cause stomach upset if eaten and it can also be a skin and eye irritant.