Monographs Details: Monstera nechodomi Britton ined.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Anton Nechodoma was a distinguished architect, resident in Porto Rico, who designed and constructed some of the most beautiful houses in the island. His home was at Monte flores, and he brought together there many rare and beautiful plants, for he was a keen lover of nature. Among these is a long climbing vine, with very large, deeply divided leaves, brought by him in 1922 from the forest on the eastern slope of El Yunque, Luquillo Mountains, at an altitude of 500 meters or higher, which grew luxuriantly on a small tree in his Monteflores garden and proved to be different from any other plant known; from its similarity to some species of Philodendron, it was supposed to belong to that genus, of which we have 7 in Porto Rico, but we knew it from foliage only at the time it was named and described, and it bore no flowers until early in 1931, when these appeared, produced fruit, and make necessary the transferral of the species to the genus Monstera.
Monstera (presumably signifying strange or unusual) consists of about 30 species, natives of tropical America. They are woody vines, with many aerial, cord-like roots, climbing on trees, with large leaves, curiously perforated in some species, their stalks sheathing the stems or branches. The long dense, fleshy clusters of very small flowers (spadix) are subtended by a large bract (spathe); there are some sterile flowers at the base of the spadix, with 4 minute staminodes and a rudimentary ovary; the other flowers, above the sterile ones, and much more numerous, are fertile and perfect, with 4 stamens, and a 2-celled ovary; neither sterile nor fertile flowers have either a calyx, or a corolla. The ovaries ripen into berry-like, small fruits, densely aggregated on the ripening spadix.
Monstera Nechodomi attains a length of 4 meters, or more, with leaves a meter long, on channelled stalks about one-half their length. The leaves are bright green, shining, divided nearly or quite to the midrib into rather narrow, long-tipped, slightly curved segments from 8 to 12 centimeters long, with a central, rather prominent vein, and delicate, obscure veins; along both sides of the midrib there is a row of white, translucent spots 2 or 5 millimeters long; an occasional leaf is smaller and undivided, or with a lobe on one side. The long, dense clusters of minute flowers, borne near the end of the vine, are subtended by a leathery spathe 10 to 12 centimeters long. The fruit is oblong-cylindric, blunt, whitish, about 15 centimeters long, nearly 4 centimeters in diameter, somewhat longer than its stout stalk, the crowded ovaries irregularly pentagonal.
Discussion:Bejuco de Nechodoma
Philodendron Nechodomi Britton; Britton & Wilson, Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands 5:335.1926.