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juvenile monsteroids


Those of you out there with juvenile stages of climbing monsteroids
might find useful the following observations based on plants that are
reasonably often cultivated. Please note that these observations are not
so useful in the field since you'll run into lots of plants, often not
even aroids, that do similar things.

No juvenile Rhaphidophora are variegated or have slivery or white leaf
venation. If you've got a 'Rhaphidophora' with such markings then the
are a number of possibilities as to its identity. In addition, not all
all-green juveniles are Rhaphidophora.

1. If the plant has rounded shingling leaves that are close together,
somewhat thickened with prominent white venation and leaves and
more-or-less all the same size (i.e. no dramatic increases in leaf size)
then the chances are you're growing Monstera dubia. I have never seen
this as a juvenile with all-green leaves, although adult plants have
deeply divided leaves without the white veins.

2. If the plant is as above but has rather thin leaves with cloudy
blotches rather then white veins then it's probably M. tuberculata
(though this is frequently all-green). Adult plants have of M.
tuberculata have the same type of leaves as the juvenile, except much
larger, thicker and without the variegation.

3. If the plant is as the last, but displays a rather rapid increase in
leaf size and the leaves soon become scattered and eventually perforate
(even in quite small plants (less than 2 m tall)) then it's probably M.
punctulata. I have never seen this all-green as a juvenile.

4. If you've a plant matching the juvenile stage of M. dubia (1 above)
but totally green, and which, as it gets older, begins to produce
easily-detached side shoots than fall and root easily, then it's
probably Rhaphidophora hayi.

5. If you've a climber that sort of resembles Scindapsus pictus but has
longer, narrower, noticeably thicker leaves with diffuse longitudinally
grey streaks (or lamina wholly green) and a slender, round smooth stem
(the stem of S. pictus is roughened) then it's probably Scindapsus
treubii. Note that S. pictus has a shingling juvenile stage, S. treubii
does not.

6. If you've something like 5. but with thin-textured leaves, a long
(half or more the length of the leaf lamina) petiole that is
longitudinally winged then it's probably Scindapsus hederaceus (note
that a completely grey-leaved form of this is often grown.)

7. If you've something matching 5 but very vigorous with very long (up
to 40 cm), narrow leaves with clearly defined longitudinal grey streaks
then it's probably Epipremnum amplissimum.


Peter C. Boyce
Willow Wren Wharf
Hayes Road, Southall
Middlesex   UB2 5HB

Tel.: (+44) (0) 20 8 573 1212 (home)
        (+44) (0) 20 8 332 5207 (work)
Fax: (+44) (0) 20 8 332 5278=20
email: boyce@pothos.demon.co.uk (home)
          p.boyce@rbgkew.org.uk (work)

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