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Re: identity of the dwarf Monstera deliciosa

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: identity of the dwarf Monstera deliciosa
  • From: SelbyHort@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 17:19:01 -0500 (CDT)

We have this "dwarf Monstera deliciosa" here at Selby Gardens. It has always
been puzzling. Some people thought it might be an unknown Amydrium. I believe
this plant has been discussed on the newslist before and I am sure everyone
is relieved to know what it really is. We got this plant when it was in the
trade about 8-10 years ago, back when it was common practice to use tree fern
totems for growing vines. Origin was unknown. When grown on a totem, it has
the ungainly habit of sending its long shoots downward. We propagated
divisions of this plant and grew them out in our display house to see if
leaves or growth habit would change once it grew larger. After the stems grew
down and touched the ground then they headed back upwards, but tended to
scramble around quite a bit. This behavior made it difficult to keep the
plant on the totem. Guess this is why it went out of production. Its an easy
plant to grow in central-south Florida but never gets large leaf blades like
Monstera deliciosa. Since it so resembled a Monstera everyone came to call it
the "dwarf" Monstera deliciosa. That name never seemed to "fit" but at least
it gave us something to call it.

Rhaphidophora look very much like Monstera. Being in the same subtribe they
must be closely related. What are the main morphological differences between
Monstera and Rhaphidophora? Is it primarily some kind of microscopic
character (locules, placentation?) that distinquishes the two genera?

Donna Atwood
Selby Gardens

In a message dated 05/26/2000 10:22:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
p.boyce@rbgkew.org.uk writes:

 The dwarf Monstera deliciosa that many of you grow is
 Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, native to Peninsular malaysia and
 southern Thailand.

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