Araceae Juss.

Monstera Adans.

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Mexico to Tropical America.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Tropical moist and humid forest, cloud forest; climbing hemiepiphytes, usually on tree trunks, also on rocks or ground ( M. deliciosa).
General Description
HABIT : evergreen climbing herbs. LEAVES : distichous, juvenile leaves sometimes of shingle plant form, rarely variegated. PETIOLE : geniculate apically, sheath usually long, persistent or decomposing to fibrous or membranous mass or entirely deciduous. BLADE : entire, oblique, oblong to ovate-elliptic, often conspicuously and elaborately perforated, more rarely deeply pinnatifid; primary lateral veins pinnate, running into marginal vein, rarely forming an irregular submarginal collective vein ( M. obliqua), secondary laterals often parallel-pinnate, sometimes reticulated (e.g. M. dubia), higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : 1-several in each floral sympodium. PEDUNCLE : shorter than petiole. SPATHE : ovate or oblong-ovate, cuspidate, boat-shaped and somewhat convolute basally, white to rose-coloured within, remaining open after anthesis, caducous. SPADIX : sessile, subcylindric, somewhat shorter than spathe. FLOWERS : bisexual, perigone absent, lowermost flowers usually sterile. STAMENS : 4, filaments flattened, connective slender, thecae oblong-ellipsoid, dehiscing by longitudinal slit. POLLEN : fully zonate, hamburger-shaped, medium-sized (mean 48 µm, range 40-52 µm), exine densely foveolate to subreticulate, sparsely and shallowly foveolate or psilate, apertural exine verrucate or rugulate. STERILE FLOWERS : with 4 minute, conic staminodia, pistillode 2-locular, prismatic, lacking ovules. GYNOECIUM : obovoid to ellipsoid, prismatic, ovary 2-locular, ovules 2 per locule, anatropous, funicle short, placenta axile at base of septum; stylar region often massive, broader than ovary, apex truncate to shortly attenuate, stigma oblong-elliptic to linear (in the sense of the spadix axis). BERRY : 1-3-seeded, shedding prismatic stylar region at maturity, pulpy within. SEED : obovoid to ellipsoid, compressed, testa smooth, embryo large, endosperm absent.
Mexico to Trop. America.
Climbing hemiepiphytes with trichosclereids abundant in all tissues; petiole geniculate apically, sheath long, persistent to deciduous; leaves distichous; leaf blade with the two sides usually unequal, fine venation from parallel-pinnate to reticulate; spathe deciduous after flowering; flowers bisexual, perigone absent; ovaries 2-locular. Differs from from Stenospermation and Rhodospatha in more diverse leaf shape, usually perforated or pinnatifid or sometimes both, seeds globose to oblong, 6-22 mm long, endosperm absent and 2 ovules per locule.

Native to:

Belize, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Leeward Is., Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panamá, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela, Windward Is.

Introduced into:

Ascension, Bangladesh, Comoros, Cook Is., Korea, Puerto Rico, Seychelles, Society Is.

Monstera Adans. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Hunt, D.R. [7018], Belize 39363.000 No
Sucre, D., Panama 46565.000 No
Sizemore, M., Panama 63692.000 No
Colombia 6910.000 No

First published in Fam. Pl. 2: 470 (1763)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


CATE Araceae

  • Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. 1997. The genera of Araceae. 370 pp.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2008. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • CATE Araceae

    Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.