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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/25/2012)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 10/25/2012)
Genus MONSTERA Adans.
PlaceOfPublication Fam. PI. 2:470. 1763.
Description Large and coarse, scandent epiphytes, rooting at the nodes; leaves distichous, the juvenile ones usually appressed to the tree trunk, ovate or ovate-cordate, short- petiolate, not perforated; petioles vaginate to the middle or higher, the sheath persistent or deciduous; blades various, entire and asymmetric or more often per- forated or pinnatifid; peduncles terminal, solitary or several; spathe ovate or oblong-ovate, apiculate, cymbiform-convolute, closed after fecundation, finally deciduous; spadix sessile, free, cylindric, densely many-flowered, shorter than the spathe, the lowest flowers sterile, the others perfect, naked; stamens 4, the fila- ments rather broad and compressed, abruptly narrowed into the slender, acuminate connective, scarcely longer than the pistil; anthers 2-celled, the cells oblong, apiculate, longer than the connective, dehiscent by lateral slits; ovary obconic- prismatic, 2-celled, the cells 2-ovulate; ovules anatropous, on very short funicles; style equaling the ovary but thicker, truncate at the apex and slightly elevated at the middle, the stigma depressed-oblong or linear; fruits crowded, baccate, juicy; seeds obverse-ovate or subcordate, subcompressed.
Note An American genus, of about 30 species, 11 of which have been recorded as Central American. The plants constitute a large element of the conspicuous epiphytic vegetation of the lowland forests, where they are more than ordinarily conspicuous because of their large and curious leaves, usually either perforated or pinnatifid. Some of the species have become common house and hot-house plants in the United States. Their succulent foliage withstands well the trying effect of steam-heated air. The fully ripened spadices are juicy and sweet, and rather good to eat. The long, flexible, tough aerial roots of Monstera and Philodendron, which often attain a length of several meters, are much used in some parts of Central America for making the so-called "mimbre" furniture, much like the willow or rattan furniture of the United States. In Guatemala and Salvador, for instance, this is quite an important industry.
Key a. Leaves entire, not perforated - - -- - 1. M. PITTIERI aa. Leaves pinnatifid or entire and perforated. b. Leaf blades regularly pinnatifid. c. Blades perforated along the costa _ 2. M. DELICIOSA cc. Blades not perforated _ ___ _ 3. M. DILACERATA bb. Leaf blades not regularly pinnatifid, often entire, sometimes cleft to the perforations in a few places - ---- 4. M. PERTUSA
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