Monstera deliciosa Swiss cheese plant is an epiphyte with aerial roots, able to grow up to 66 ft high in the wild, with large, leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves 10–35.5 in long by 10–29.5 in broad. The leaves on young plants are smaller and entire with no lobes or holes, but soon produce lobed and fenestrate leaves as they grow. Although it can grow very tall in nature, it only measures between 6.6 and 9.8 ft when grown indoors. The leaves are large (up to 3.3 ft long), heart-shaped and pinnate. The older the plant, the more the leaves are covered with its familiar large perforations.
Wild seedlings grow towards the darkest area they can grow until they find a tree trunk, then start to grow up towards the light, creeping up the tree. Monstera deliciosa Swiss cheese plant
The inflorescence is adorned with a cream-white spathe of uniform, velvety appearance, covering, like a hood, a yellowish white spadix 10 to 3.9 to 5.9 in high and about 1.2 in in diameter. Flowers are self pollinating, containing both androecium and gynoecium. Since they contain both structures, this plant is able to self-pollinate.
Monstera deliciosa is a species of flowering plant native to tropical forests of southern Mexico, south to Panama. It has been introduced to many tropical areas, and has become a mildly invasive species in Hawaii, Seychelles, Ascension Island and the Society Islands.
The plant may be confused with Philodendron bipinnatifidum as they have similar leaves and growing habits. However, the ingestion of Philodendron bipinnatifidum may cause irritation to the digestive tract and will induce internal swelling. The sap is also known to irritate the skin.