Previously classified as a Philodendron, the Monstera deliciosa is a wonderfully easy-to-grow houseplant. What many people don’t realize is that in its native habitat, it develops both flowers and fruit. But it’s not going to bear fruit while it’s growing indoors or in most U.S. backyards.
Regarded as exotic, the fruit from Monstera deliciosa is said to be incredibly delicious. But while you certainly can eat it, it’s expensive and not widely available. The plant needs a very particular environment to bear fruit. That means, even if you grow beautiful delicious monster plants, you’re probably never going to see any fruit.
What is monstera fruit?
Monstera fruit comes from the Monstera deliciosa plant that is native to tropical parts of north and south America. The monstera plant grows as tall as 70 feet in its natural environment but not more than 6-8 feet max in a home environment.
Even though Monstera deliciosa is also known as a cut-leaf or split-leaf philodendron, it isn’t a philodendron. It was, though, previously classified in the Philodendron genus. Both are still in the Araceae family.
Monstera deliciosa is a woody epiphytic vine that has amazing climbing abilities. It is also an aroid, which is basically a flowering plant in the impressive Araceae family.
It is also commonly called a delicious monster, Mexican breadfruit, and Swiss cheese plant, because of the holes in its leaves. Other names for this monster of a plant include window leaf and ceriman.
Whatever you choose to call it, when it is in its perfect environment, it produces spikes. The spikes produce numerous perfect flowers, as Jonathon H. Crane and Carlos F. Balerdi from the University of Florida’s extension point out.
And, after about a year or more, the flowers produce a fairly complex type of fruit. This is made up of a whole lot of berries. It starts out as a “spadix” that has a waxy bract that drops off later.
When you look at the fruit, it’s green, cylindrical, 8-14 inches long, and 2 or 3 inches in diameter. It has a very hard, thick peel and what Crane and Balerdi describe as scales, or hexagonal plates that cover individual segments.
Wondering what these segments look and taste like? Me too!
They are ivory in color, very juicy, and they have an amazing flavor. I believe them since their commentary isn’t a sales pitch!
But what do those marketing Monstera deliciosa fruit say?
What does Monstera FRUIT taste like?
They say it ranges from being nice and juicy with a delicious pineapple flavor similar to candy to having a creamy pineapple-flavored pulp. Certainly, pineapple seems to be a common flavor.
So, if you’ve never tasted the delicious fruit produced by Monstera deliciosa plants, the online reviews will be sure to get your taste buds going. Here are some examples from people who have tried it:
- Unique and delicious
- Tasted like pineapple, mango, passion fruit, maybe a bit of vanilla, and textured like a soft pineapple
- Tastes like a combo of mango, soursop, and pineapple
- Good tropical flavor almost like soursop but in corn kernel form
- This was heaven
Then there are people who say they can taste strawberries, custard apples, guava, and other fruits. So, it comes as no surprise to learn that some of these people call it the fruit salad plant.
Can you eat monstera fruit?
Yes, monstera fruit is edible. But it is highly unlikely that you’ll get your houseplant to flower, let alone fruit.
The monstera edible fruit is produced in environments where the average temperatures are 60-80 degrees, the humidity is high, and there is moderate brightness but no direct sunlight. But, remember, it grows to a height of about 70 feet in its native, tropical environment!
Nevertheless, Monstera deliciosa fruit is produced successfully by growers in Miami, Florida. So, if you want to try the fruit Monstera deliciosa produces, you can order it online from companies that specialize in exotic fruits.
These companies generally warn customers that the fruit must be ripe before they eat it. A good guideline is that the scales will start to come loose and the fruit inside will be soft. Never force the scales of the fruit.
A warning issued by one company states that the fruit must be “naturally ripened.” The danger is that “it contains toxic calcium oxalates that can cause severe and potentially life-threatening harm” if it isn’t properly ripened.
You should start to smell the exotic sweetness of the fruit as it ripens. This gets stronger and more pungent as it gets to the point of being safe to eat.
How to eat monstera fruit
When you are 100% certain your delicious fruit is ripe, you will be able to remove the outer shell very easily. Then, you can bite into the fruit just as you would when eating an ear of corn.
The fruit has a fibrous, rather gooey texture that surrounds a hard middle core that you cannot eat. You will find that as you bite into the fruit, the edible bits will come apart rather like corn kernels.
People also make exotic jams from the fruit.
Benefits of eating monstera fruit
According to the Rare Fruit Council, monstera fruit is packed with vitamin C and potassium so it’s good for a healthy immune system. It is also very low in calories, unlike some other fruits that have very high sugar content.
Risks of eating too much monstera fruit
First of all, as we have already pointed out, it’s very important to only eat Monstera deliciosa fruit when it is ripe. You will be able to identify that it is ripe when the scales start to loosen and the fruit feels soft.
Those who have tried it warn that you may experience irritations to your mouth throat, and stomach if it isn’t completely ripe.
The Rare Fruit Council explains that the reason monstera fruit is often called the fruit salad plant is that it tastes a bit like every delicious tropical fruit in the world. If you like bananas, strawberries, passion fruit, pineapple, mangoes, and guavas, you’re on the right track.
If you can find it to try it, you will find that the fruit is all about delicious – just like its name.