Fruit of the Day: Monstera Deliciosa


Okay, the fruit of two days ago. So sue me!
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This is another potentially poisonous fruit. If you eat it when ripe, it tastes delicious, with a mix of flavors like a fruit salad (some people call it the fruit salad fruit). If you eat it unripe, it will feel like a thousand tiny needles stabbed your tongue, and then you’ll get pains along your digestive tract, too. Fun! However, like ackee, this fruit has a way of telling you when it’s ripe: First, ripe fruits have a strong, sweet smell. Second, when the scales on it easily flake off with just your fingernail, that part of the fruit is ripe. The whole thing doesn’t ripen at once, either, so you can only take a few bites at a time. It takes about a year to ripen enough on the plant to ripen correctly and not be poisonous.

The plant the fruit comes from is actually a beautiful philodendron—and is the only type of philodendron that gives edible fruit. Some people call it the Swiss cheese plant. The holes in the leaves do remind you of Swiss cheese!

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This grows really well in South Florida, and is a common landscaping plant there. This means it likes alkaline soils, so you’ll probably need to add lime to get the pH up (I needed to). It likes both shade and something to climb on, so it can be planted right next to a tree and be happy. If you plant one, you can get fruit out of a shaded area, which isn’t really common. You need to be in at least zone 10a, unless you plant it close to a pool or lake.

Here’s a video about it that you guys may enjoy, and a Wikipedia link.