Hobby , Plants , Rare plants

19 Uncommon Monsteras as houseplants

The Monstera is the most loved and well-known houseplant. Definitely one that every collector must have.

But how many varieties are there?

In nature we have about 50 species, which live mainly in Central America, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama

The best known is undoubtedly the Monstera deliciosa, known for its large glossy dark green leaves with its characteristic defenestrations and holes that look like sculptures.

They are all resistant and easy to grow plants, and there are no substantial differences in the way to take care of them.

1) M. acuminata

The M. acuminata K. Koch (1855) is native to the humid forests of Mexico (northeastern, central and southern), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The generic name is of uncertain origin, according to some it would derive from the Latin “monstrum” = prodigy, extraordinary thing and the specific Latin term “acuminata” = acuminate, pointed, refers to the conformation of the apex of the leaf.

Evergreen climber, semi-epiphytic, with over 20 m long stems and with numerous aerial roots, in particular at the nodes, with which it clings to the trunks of the trees.

The leaves present the phenomenon of heterophyllia (presence of leaves of different shapes on the same plant), in young plants they are asymmetrical and irregularly fenestrated, in adult plants the leaves are ovate, with entire or slightly fenestrated lamina, of an intense green color and a sharp apex.

2) M. epipremnoides

This rare plant was first described by Adolf Engler in 1908. The plant is native to Central America, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

You recognize it immediately as this Monstera is characterized by large fenestrations  and holes in its leaf.

M. Epipremnoides is a plant that belongs to the arum family. It resembles M. Adansonii, but its leaves are exceptionally larger with increasingly larger holes in the leaf.

In the wild this plant can produce leaves between 35 and 55 cm long when the plant is mature. In the wild it behaves like all Monsteras and needs support to grow vigorously.

3) M. Karstenianum aka Monstera Perù

The m. karstenianum aka monstera Peru is a small, fast-growing tropical houseplant with amazing gnarled, dragon-like leaves.

It has grown in popularity over the past few years and, rightly so, is a stunning little plant that is easy to grow and propagate. Named “Peru” after its native location, this species was considered very rare not too long ago. They are really appreciated for their foliage, as they really have a fascinating mix of qualities.

With pronounced veins and furrowed leaves in a deep emerald colour, it somewhat resembles a climbing version of a crocodile fern.

In the Peruvian rainforest, M. karstenianum has evolved to thrive in the diffused, filtered sunlight that shines through the forest canopy.

It is grown like the other Monsteras, it only needs a slightly lower temperature, around 18-20°.

4) M. lechleriana

An uncommon evergreen tropical climbing variety. It is native to Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

M. Lechleriana is similar to M. Adansonii, it differs in the size of the holes, they are thinner and more oval. The Adansonii then has holes distributed uniformly on the leaf, while the Lechleriana has holes distributed in an irregular way.

It lives at higher altitudes, this means that this plant needs lower temperatures ranging from 12° to 27°. As in nature, there is a greater temperature difference between day and night, or winter, summer. If the daily temperature range is difficult to give, let’s place it in winter in a situation where it can be cooler. A bathroom or under the stairs are optimal, remembering however to keep the environment bright.

5) M. Spruceana

Monstera spruceana is a rare or uncommon climbing monstera native to central and tropical South America.

M. spruceana took its name from an English botanist known as Richard Spruce. And like Monstera Obliqua it is a complex species with plants that show variations on the different specimens collected.

For example, young plants will grow with their leaves flat on the surface they are climbing on. Similarly, some can nag down to a few centimeters while others only do so for a few dozen leaves. Also, there is variation in the color and shape of the leaves. However, they are a heterophyllous plant, and the adult leaves are very different from the young ones.

Similarly, some can nag down to a few centimeters while others only do so for a few dozen leaves. Also, there is variation in the color and shape of the leaves. However, they are a heterophyllous plant, and the adult leaves are very different from the young ones.

6) M. Siltepcana

Monstera siltepecana is a plant native to southern Mexico and Central America. Like other Araceae species, it is a fast-growing climbing plant, and as it matures, it develops holes in its leaves. Especially in the immature foliage, it has distinctive silver veins that fade as they age.

It was first collected in 1889 in Guatemala by taxonomist John Donnell Smith according to A Revision to Monstera – Madison.

as it matures it develops holes in its leaves. Especially in the immature foliage, it has distinctive silver veins that fade as they age.

It was first collected in 1889 in Guatemala by taxonomist John Donnell Smith according to A Revision to Monstera – Madison.

7) M. acacoyaguensis

Monstera acacoyaguensis is a rare or uncommon variety originally from Belize, Guatemala and Mexico precisely in the Chapas area.

This tropical flowering plant has lovely oval, semi-leathery, bright green juvenile leaves.

As it matures, unlike M.deliciosa, M dubia, or M. pinnatipartita, whose leaves are split, it retains the entire margin but develops perforations.

Usually, this plant somewhat resembles the Monstera lechleriana. But there are distinctions between these two species, as we will see later.

Also, some sellers label it as a rare M. Adansonii. However, that’s not the case. These are two separate Monstera species. For example, M. acacoyaguensis has a spathe (in botany, a large bract at the base of an inflorescence or even a single flower). a spadix (in botany, a spike inflorescence with an enlarged, fleshy axis, generally wrapped in a more or less large spathe typical of araceae and other monocotyledons). and longer peduncles. Also, their leaf perforations differ.

8) Monstera anomala

This species is native to the area that goes from Costa Rica to Panama. It lives at an altitude between 800 and 1000 meters

Monstera anomala. (A) Developing inflorescence. (B) Open inflorescence, frontal view, with tearing spathe. (C) Immature infructescence. (D) Portion of juvenile plant. (E) Portion of adult plant. (F) Fertile flower, in lateral view (left) and longitudinal section (right). (G) Stylar plate with stigma (left) and one stamen (right). (H) Sterile flower, in lateral view (left) and longitudinal section (right).

9) M. aureopinnata

Monstera aureopinnata is known from northeastern Peru, Brazil and Ecuador at 130–1550 m in the vital zones of tropical moist forest and premontane moist forest. The species is characterized by yellowish-brown pinnate-lobed leaf blades (hence the epithet ‘aureopinnata’), which are lobed at the base with the basal portions of the lobes prominently decurrent in both directions on the rachis. Also characteristic are the sharp pistils and orange to red berries.

10) M. Barrieri

New species of Monstera (Araceae) recently discovered in French Guiana.

The species is characterized by its deeply pinnate blades, which are colored black and by the axis of the spadix from wine red to orange. It is a hemiepiphyte that grows up to 10 meters in height on trees.

Characterized by its pinnately lobed, blackish blades with slender fins that are narrowly tapering towards the apex and not at all tapered towards the base.

11) M. Boliviana

It is a variety of Monstera Obliqua and as the name suggests it is native to Bolivia and south-eastern Peru.

12) M. Dissecta

Monstera Dissecta is an epiphyte up to 10 m tall, the leaves are carried in clusters on the top of the stem.

It is very widespread, and lives throughout central and southern America, Belize, northern Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Peru.

The Monstera dissecta is more easily recognizable by its regularly pinnatifid leaves carried in a tight head at the apex of the stem.

13) M. Egregia

This species is accepted and its native range is from central and southern Mexico to Belize

14) M. Florescanoana

Monstera florescanoana is an endemic species of central Veracruz in Mexico. This species appears to be more closely related to M. siltepecana Matuda and Monstera dubia.

The species is named after the distinguished Mexican historian Dr. Enrique Florescano–Mayet for his determined and enthusiastic support of the research and education project on endemic, rare and remarkable plant species of Veracruz in light of the celebration in honor of the centennial of the Mexican Revolution and 200 years of independence.

This project has promoted a major plant exploration effort in the state of Veracruz. The research focuses on endemic and rare taxa in the few sites known to have patches of vegetation with little disturbance and high plant diversity.

These forests, however, due to the ongoing conversion into plantations, pastures and secondary vegetation are one of the most threatened habitats in Mexico. Despite their small surface area, these areas are extremely rich in plant species and represent approx. 10% of Mexico’s flora, making it the most diverse vegetation type per unit area.

The new species is a hemiepiphytic plant locally common in the shady understory of the humid montane forests of the municipality of Atzalan between 990 and 1430 m.

15) M. Gracilis

Monstera gracilis is a rare species confined to a limited geographical area in eastern Colombia and is known to few collectors. The population of this species consisted of half a dozen individuals growing in a protected forest in Ilanos.

Some of the larger and more perforated leaves of M. obliqua resemble M. gracilis vegetatively, but the fruits of the two species are quite distinct.

In M. gracilis the yellow berries are prismatic and armed with numerous trichosclereids in the upper portion, while M. obliqua has globose orange berries without trichosclereids in the stylar portion.

16) Monstera Membranacea

Monstera that lives in Costa Rica and Panama and is a very particular and easily recognizable species.

It has at least four unique characters in the genre; the lamina is very thin and membranous the spathe is decurrent on the peduncle for 3-8 cm; the fruit is green with the stylar portion deciduous to expose the seeds in a bright orange pulp; six seeds are spherical, with the S-shaped raphe forming a bump on the surface.

The juvenile of Monstera membranacea is similar to that of M. siltepecana, but many characteristics of the adults separate the two species. In addition to this, M. membranacea does not appear to be closely related to any other species, although it clearly belongs to the section Monstera.

17) M. Tenuis

Monstera tenuis is an epiphytic climbing plant.

It is located in Central America, exactly in Costarica, Nicaragua, Panama. In its growth, it undergoes a drastic change in leaf morphology during its development.

Its small round juvenile leaves grow tightly pressed against its supporting tree trunk.

As the vine grows vertically, the leaves become larger, but at some point the leaves become very large and dissected and are held off the trunk of the host tree on sturdy petioles.

The morphology of the juvenile leaves is suitable for capturing diffused light while the morphology of the adults improves exposure to direct light. Light availability and a threshold size of juvenile leaves have been hypothesized to influence this dramatic morphological change.

18) M. Tubercolata

Monstera tuberculata is a tropical plant, which is found in an extended area of Central America, and is found in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Gulf of Mexico, southeast Mexico, southwest Mexico, Nicaragua, Panamá

they have the curious characteristic of possessing aerial roots which allow them to climb various supports. Furthermore, what is immediately noticeable is the particular appearance of the leaves, which seem torn: it is an important adaptation that allows the plants to keep the leaves intact even in the event of strong winds.

One of the easiest ways to identify the Monstera tuberculata plant is by its large velvet-like heart-shaped leaves that lie flat and curl up on any surface. These leaves also don’t have the same fenestrations (holes in the leaves) that other Monstera varieties have.

The leaves start out small, and then grow in size, structured in an alternating pattern. Monstera tuberculata has leaves with a velvety texture surface, which also lie distinctly flat on the surface on which it is growing, making it look like a tile

19) M. Obliqua "Yasuni"

Similar, but totally different plant from the renowned and  Obliqua Peru’.

The young leaves are very similar to this plant, but when it matures the leaves become much longer and tapered, moreover the holes on the leaves are arranged in a totally different way.

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