Sunday, 23 September 2007

The monster.

This is a Monsteria on my back veranda. I inherited it from the foyer of our company many years ago and it seems to enjoy being under the Jacarandah tree. It spreads out about 10 feet wide and about 5 feet deep and, on reflection, probably needs re-potting.

It gives the veranda a lovely tropical feel - I think it originates from Mexico or thereabouts.

Many moons ago (390 or so, I think) I bought a Kodak book on photography and the dopey people who wrote it had used a photo of a Monsteria leaf for some demonstration and described it as 'moth-eaten' or something similar. Memo to Kodak: the leaves are supposed to look like that! It must have annoyed me, thirty years later I am still bitching about it.

Below is a photo from deep withing the leaf mass. Yes, I am about to be a father! The thing has tried to fruit a few times in the past, only to wither away in cold weather. This time, so far before summer, there is a fair chance the fruit will ripen. I am told they taste like fruit salad.



  1. I don't think I fancy eating that, looks a bit like a poisonous arum type thing.
    The monsteria is great, in a slightly 70s way from the design point of view.
    Funny how you remember those annoying things you read isn't it?

  2. The "cold" ?

    After my comment on your twentysixth anniversary (I think it was the twentysixth...) and then your location notation on a later post brought me to find out just how goofy I am.
    (Sidney and the big rock, indeed.)
    You are plenty close to Sydney.
    The big rock I can't find because my stupid encyclopedia disc is lost somewhere in my messy computer area (who says that having a disc is a good repolacement for a twenty-seven volume encyclopedia set? Heck! Have you ever heard of someone losing twenty-seven volumes?)
    But, I found y'all.
    It looked warm to me. (they used warm colors on the map)

    We also have a monstera. It is a pain to take out every spring and even harder to bring back in during fall. (like it's fighting us, "no. really you guys. you can leave me outside. i'll do ok in the sun")

    Steve tells me of a fellow with great windows, sky-lights to boot and steady diet....thing is fifteen feet wide with leaves the size of small children.

    COOL that yers pops out flowers fer ya!

    (by the by...did y'try the bed and breakfast idea?)

  3. Fruit salad? Far too erotic looking ....

    Is this the same plant as "Swiss Cheese"??

  4. what fun! I hope it works out - these fragile moments in plant life - a fruit would be an amazing thing to get! I'm sure you'll give us pictures....

  5. My mother had a huge Monsteria called Gracie, & it lived in her lounge. It used to send out aeial roots that tried to bury themselves in the carpet, & we used to joke with her, that one day we would come home & find a small pile of bones beside Gracie!
    She eventually put her into the garden, & she used to fruit regularly, but no one ever tried to eat them.

  6. Sorry it wasn't Gracie, that was my plant, hers was Arthur. My brother was a Mad Magazine fan. I know he reads your blog, Lee, so he would no doubt correct me.

  7. I hope you do get a chance to eat the fruit of your Monsteria, Lee. Wait until the green pods start popping open before you do, though. They are a very tasty fruit...if eaten before they are ripe enough they do have some very, very fine "prickles". They're such a wonderful looking plant...I love them...and I love the fruit. I was visiting friends of mine on Saturday and pointed out to them that their plants had fruit coming on them.

    They're a similar to a Custard Apple in a way...just a smaller version.

  8. hi lee, what an amazing plant!!! you must be a proud papa!

    i think we may have had a plant similar to that. i can't exactly tell the scale of this one you've photographed, but the phallus blooming outside our kitchen window was about a foot in length. it was almost frightening. we had no idea what it was called nor where we'd gotten it. now it's gone... my husband is a merciless gardener. big hugs, snowsparkle

  9. Hi lee,

    When you pick the fruit wrap it in newspaper and keep it in a coolish place. Check it every day or so and eat it when the green plates start to open or drop off. It tastes like a tropical fruit salad and is excellent with an icy chardonnay.


    Algernon Sidney Montagu

  10. Erotic indeed. And it looks as if it's made out of porcelain, it's quite lovely. Does it ever have sun shining through it, it is translucent at all? Does the flower have a scent?

  11. Hi
    Those leaves really look like to be eaten by some bugs!!!
    The second picture seems like a skunk cabbage flower. Do they live in a dump ground?


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