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Re: Monstera deliciosa - dwarf, giant or otherwise "developmentally

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: Monstera deliciosa - dwarf, giant or otherwise "developmentally
  • From: SelbyHort@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 23:29:14 -0500 (CDT)

Just some notes on history of Monstera deliciosa:

I have a copy of some files from Dr. Russell Seibert who was once Director of
Longwood Gardens. He has a file about Monstera deliciosa and there I found a
letter (dated in 1960) from a woman who was related to Admiral du Pont.
Apparently Admiral du Pont was on Admiral Perry's famous 1856 voyage around
South America. It was from this voyage that Monstera deliciosa was brought to
the US, probably for the first time. I believe this species was described in
1849, introduced to England (probably via a different collection and source)
and illustrated in Gardener's Chronicle in 1858. I have not checked the
Gardener's Chronicle to see what is writen there about this species' source
in England.

Apparently Mr. P.S. du Pont acquired the plant at some point after Admiral du
Pont's death and it grew so quickly and large that he had a grand idea to
build a magnificent conservatory. At that time he already owned Longwood, and
this conservatory is now a feature of Longwood Gardens. Its amazing that this
structure was built with housing Monstera deliciosa in mind! I am not sure if
it is still there, but in 1960 the vegetative offspring of the original
collection was at Longwood on display.

I just thought this history was interesting. We often wonder about how and
when certain plants are introduced and many times there are no traces or
records to define the very first introduction, but when the details are known
the stories are fascinating.

Donna Atwood

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