Scientific Name:
Monstera deliciosa
oxalates raphides
Flower Color:
ornamental, houseplant

Geographical Distribution

Ceriman distribution - United States


Monstera deliciosa

Split-leaf philodendron, Swiss cheese plant, Mexican breadfruit, Hurricane plant, Mother-in-law
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Ceriman (Monstera deliciosa) is a climbing, evergreen perennial vine which is best known for its gigantic pinnately-lobed leaves. The plant is native to the tropical regions of North and South America.

The fruit produced by this plant is edible, but all other parts are toxic, and contain raphides, which are tiny, needle-shaped crystals made up of calcium oxalate. When the plant tissues are damaged, the raphides shoot out the idioblasts, which act like tiny needles, cutting into the lining of the mouth, esophagus, and/or gastrointestinal tract of the bird. Since raphides also contain toxic proteins, the lacerations made by the raphides allow these compounds to enter through the wounds, causing intense pain and harm to the surrounding tissues.