by Stephen Mifsud
   22 Jun 2024      ()
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Monstera deliciosa   (Swiss Cheese Plant)

Monstera deliciosa  (ARACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Aug-2022 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Monstera deliciosa - datasheet created on Aug-2022. Retrieved from on 22-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Monstera deliciosaLiebm.
Published in Vidensk. Meddel. Naturhist. Foren. Kjøbenhavn 1: 19 (1849)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Philodendron pertusum Kunth & C.D.Bouché
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Araceae Juss. (The Arum Family)
10 species from the Araceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Swiss Cheese Plant, Split-leaf philodendron, Monster fruit tree

Maltese name(s) :

Sieq l-iljun, Monstera

Status for Malta :

Casual or accidental alien. Species that was introduced in Malta rather recently and normally it is short-lived or resticted to small populations for a short time, without becoming widespread or invasive.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte ( high trees usually over 10 m high )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

April – July

Colour of Flowers:



Mildy toxic, can cause adverse conditions if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Cannot be planted in the wild (rural areas) since the species may be invasive (see ERA guidelines)

Remarks :

Never recorded in the wild in historic litearture but it has been spotted in natural habitats here and there in Gozo, including valleys.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Shaded or sheltered areas such as shallow valleys, fields shaded with trees, old farmhouses.
Botanical Description: A large, coarse, epiphytic vine, often climbing high on trees, the caudex terete, as much as 6 cm. or even more in diameter, the internodes often 7 cm. long or more, the nodes frequently emitting long aerial roots that dangle far below the caudex; petioles 1 m. long or less, 2-2.5 cm. in diameter, the sheath ending far below the base of the blade, the node as much as 3 cm. long; blades of the primary leaves small, cordate, entire, of the succeeding leaves ovate-cordate and sparsely perforated; blades of the adult leaves 40-60 cm. wide or larger, thick-coriaceous when dried, bright green and lustrous above, somewhat paler beneath, cordate- ovate in outline, almost regularly pinnatifid and with few or numerous perfora- tions along the costa, the segments linear or broadly linear, somewhat dilated toward the apex and cuspidate-acuminate; peduncles 10-15 cm. long, 1-1.5 cm. thick; spathe coriaceous, broadly ovate, apiculate, 20-25 cm. long, 15-17 cm. wide when spread out, pale yellowish; spadix 17-20 cm. long, becoming thick and juicy in fruit; pistils turbinate; berries pale yellow, somewhat tinged with violet, 1 cm. long.
Native region outside Europe: Tropcal forests ranging from southern Mexico to south to Panama
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[aAz(F G L)]

Links & Further literature (1 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




New records, Locations and Taxonomic Updates for some Alien Species in the Maltese Islands (Poster Presentation) Stephen Mifsud  (2019)
Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (6 images)
   Monstera deliciosa   -   Image Code: MONDL-0.
   Monstera deliciosa   -   Image Code: MONDL-1.
   Monstera deliciosa   -   Image Code: MONDL-2.
   Monstera deliciosa   -   Image Code: MONDL-3.
   Monstera deliciosa   -   Image Code: MONDL-4.
   Monstera deliciosa   -   Image Code: MONDL-5.

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Use this form to submit more information on this species or report mistakes in this webpage. If information supplied is taken from a book, journal or website, please provide the corresponding reference or website address. Your email address is only for internal communication. Please report only Maltese locations for plants that indicated as rare or very rare (refer to the nomenclature section above). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, typing / grammar errors, misidentifications or taxonomical updates; this will help to improve the website's accuracy. Thanks you! Fill any of the three sections (A/B/C) below and kindly submit the form.     * = required fields.
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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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