Monstera punctulata (Schott) Schott ex Engl.
  • Candolle & Candolle, Monogr. Phan. 2: 259 (1879) 

Notes: Distribution: S. Mexico to C. America

General Description

A robust climber on large trees, to 15 m tall. Juvenile: a shingle plant, the stem strongly flattened. Adult stem: brown, roughly tuberculate, subterete, 3 – 4 cm thick, internodes 3 – 6 cm long, the stem often covered with the fibrous remains of petiole sheath wings; axillary bud in a depression extended into a sulcus; adventitious anchor roots numerous, feeder roots rare or absent. Petiole: smooth or tuberculate, densely flecked with white spots, 30 – 55 cm long, vaginate to the geniculum, the sheath wings deciduous, sometimes persisting as fibrous remains at the base of the petiole, geniculum 3 – 4 cm long, often of a rough texture and dark brown. Lamina: bright green, often remaining so in dried specimens, of a soft texture, not glossy, trichosclereids absent; 60 – 120 cm long, 35 – 60 cm wide, ovate to oblong-ovate, cordate at the base, the tip acute, pinnatifid and perforate, the perforations elliptic, 3 – 6 cm long, in 1 – 3 series per side; primary lateral veins 12 – 18 in number, prominent below and above, milk white, secondary lateral veins reticulate. Peduncle: terete, 1.5 – 2.5 cm thick, 14 – 18 cm long, tuberculate. Spathe: white, obovate, 15 – 18 cm tall, blunt or shortly mucronate. Flowering spadix: deep green to greenish gold, 14 - 19 cm long, 3.5 - 5.5 cm thick, in dried specimens a golden color, the apical surface of the pistils underlain by a layer if sclereids which form a sharp-edged papery cap in dried specimens.

Diagnostic Description

Monstera punctulata is easily recognized by a number of features, among them its brilliant green leaves of a soft texture. These leaves lack trichosclereids, and this is the only species in which I have observed damage to the leaves by leaf cutter ants, suggesting that the abundant trichosclereids in the leaves of other Monstera species may be a defense against such predation. Other features of note are the densely white-spotted petiole with a brown tuberculate geniculum, the prominent white lateral veins of the lamina, and the dark green fruits which dry a golden color.


Monstera punctulata is a rare species in most of its range and is known from a relatively few collections. It is not uncommon in the limestone areas of the central Petén; I collected only a single specimen there as it was not in flower. Later I discovered that this was the first collection of the species from Guatemala.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Northern America Mexico Mexico Gulf
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Southern America Central America Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Panamá


  • 1 Hammel, B.E. & al. (2003). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica 2: 1-694. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • 2 Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 3 Madison, M.T. A revision of Monstera (Araceae). Contrib. Gray Herb. 207, (1977).

 Information From

CATE Araceae
Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 14 Dec 2011 . 17 Dec 2011.
  • A All Rights Reserved
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eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • C Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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