Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, is native to Mexico and southern Panama. It is an invasive species of plant that bears flowers and is widely spread across places like Hawaii, Ascension Island, and similar regions. This plant is also often mistaken for a Philodendron which shares a similar appearance with this plant.
This plant is popular for its being edible and quite the opposite from its counterpart, the Philodendron, which causes extensive irritation and swelling of your digestive tract, and its sap also makes your skin irritable.
The scientific name of this plant translates to “monstrous” and “delicious,” stemming from its usually structured leaves for its monstrous appearance and its edible fruits for the latter.
This is a popular house plant and shares similarities to swiss cheese, giving it its alias as Swiss Cheese Plant.
It is also known by various other names in other regions and is significantly popular among plant enthusiasts. You can get all your doubts about this plant answered in-depth below.
Are Monstera plants edible?
No, the plants are not edible. Monstera plants are generally ornamental and are not for consumption. But, on the other hand, its fruits are safe for human consumption and are extremely delicious, with a taste similar to that of pineapples.
The plant has abnormally shaped leaves, and even though it has the name of Swiss Cheese plants and looks similar to it, the plant and leaves do not taste like it.
The plant is most popular as a houseplant and is grown outdoors.
It is a flowering plant, and its flowers are self-pollinating, thus independent of external pollinating agents. The plant’s ability to self-pollinate is responsible for sustaining its species in those regions with a large population.
It takes a long time to bear fruit, but it tastes delicious with exotic flavors and is a favorite delicacy for the locals. All the details regarding the fruit are mentioned below.
Can you eat Monstera Deliciosa fruit?
Yes, you can eat the fruits which a Monstera plant bears. But you cannot consume the plant itself, unlike other edible plants. The fruit is safe for human consumption and is often considered a delicacy, and is grown on its own or sometimes with garnishing.
The fruit of Monstera Deliciosa can grow up to two inches in width and span up to ten inches in length. This large fruit is green in color and is covered in scales during its initial phase of growth.
On ripening, the scales shed, and the fruit releases a sweet and strong smell that attracts nearby people and even animals. The fruit is 100% safe for consumption and edible.
The fruit itself takes longer than a year to mature, and it has been seen that during the onset of its maturity, the scales on the fruit start turning yellow gradually.
Its sweet flavor comes from the starch, originally stored in the plant and converted into sugar through various synthesis processes. It has been observed by various consumers of this fruit that the taste of this fruit is reminiscent of pineapples, bananas, or coconuts.
The fruit begins to exude a strong scent mid-way of its ripening phase.
The scent gradually becomes stronger as time passes, and it ripens more. Finally, only attaining maturity, the strong odor starts to fade quickly and gets substantially milder after it has matured completely.
Why should you not eat Monstera Plants?
There are quite a few reasons you avoid the Monstera plant, which does not have fully ripened fruits. Here are some of the key reasons to not eat Monstera plants:
- Monsteras are mildly toxic plants and are considered not fit for consumption. Having them in excess can cause various irritating symptoms such as continuous stinging around the mouth and an upset stomach due to excessive consumption.
- In addition, unripe fruits and leaves of the Monstera plant contain certain calcium oxalates, which will cause stinging in your mouth and even lead to severe conditions such as kidney failure in certain cases.
- Consuming this plant can also cause severe swelling and vomiting as well. Moreover, the plant is excessively toxic for cats in general, and it is advised to keep them away from it.
Those were some of the reasons why you should not consume the Monstera plant. But that does not make the plant bad. On the contrary, here are some of its plus points :
- The fruit which the plant bears is very delicious and safe for human consumption. It is so good to taste that it is also considered a delicacy.
- The fruit contains various essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, Proteins, Vitamin B, Calcium.
- The fruit is free from fats and is best for a healthy diet.
- It is also speculated that the fruit can be a viable cure for various diseases and conditions such as arthritis and be used to treat insect and snake bites, making it very useful.
- The plant can not only be a great addition to your room’s beauty but also purifies the surrounding air.
These are the great reasons for you to keep a Monstera plant and consume its ripe fruits. The ripe fruit is tasty and great for your health and is highly advised to consume.
In conclusion, the Monstera plant is unfit for consumption, but its fruit is a must-have. You can eat its fruit without worries as long as it’s ripe, but avoid having unripe fruits or leaves of the Monstera plant.
The plant is also a good choice for a houseplant as long as you don’t have cats.
It brings various benefits, such as air purification and sweet smell, and occasionally bears delicious fruits.
You can find the plant in various places such as southern Mexico, Honduras, Panama, and areas close to it, and it is easy to maintain.
If you’re planning to get yourself a Monstera plant, you can do so with hesitation, but if you are planning on consuming one, you shouldn’t but instead opt for its ripe delicious fruits.
All the details about the fruits are also mentioned above and hopefully answer all your questions.