Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Plant for the Bathroom - Monstera deliciosa

It has a thick stem growing up to 20 m height and large, leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves 25-90 cm long by 25-75 cm broad. On young plants the leaves start out smaller and entire with no lobes or holes, but older plants soon produce lobed and holed leaves. The fruit is up to 25 cm long and 3-4 cm diameter, looking like a green ear of corn lined with hexagonal scales. When it first flowers, the fruit contains so much oxalic acid that it is poisonous, causing immediate and painful blistering and irritation, swelling, itching, and loss of voice. It takes a year for the fruit to ripen, at which point it is safe to eat

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