Wild split-leaf philodendron flowering in central Mexico

Philodendron with flowers
Philodendron with flowers

Philodendron inflorescence and leaves dragon.

Monstera deliciosa or philodendron pertusumare is a tropical vine native to Mexico and Central America. It has large, glossy dark green leaves distinctive for their lovely pattern of oval holes and deep long cuts from the edges. They grow under the canopy in subtropical and tropical climates in both rainforests and those areas that are only seasonally wet and also go through a dry season. For all these reasons they have long been a popular staple of the northern climate indoor horticulturalist and amateur plant aficionado.

Philodendron in all its glory. The large leaves on the left about 30 inches across, the average leaves are about 24 inches across. In the centre back you can see the vine is climbing up a tree. (Click the photo for a larger file to pan across.)

Philodendron in all its glory. The large leaves on the left about 30 inches across, the average leaves are about 24 inches across. In the centre back you can see the vine is climbing up a tree. (Click the photo for a larger file to pan across.)

The plants above are the upper parts of the plants in the other photos. The part of the vine that is climbing up the tree in the middle rear of the photo above is the same portion that is visible in the photo with Marc below.

Philodendron plant in the Mexican jungle.

Marc is 6 feet tall, yeah? So now you have a sense of how big this plant was. Several plants? It was hard to tell. A thriving example of the species.

Philodendron flower and leaf in the Mexican jungle.

One of our crystal king business card sized prints for scale of the bloom.

This species of split leaf philodendron is also called taro vine, monstera deliciosa, Mexican breadfruit, and window leaf. The flesh of the fruit segments that form along the stalk smell and taste very sweet and have a delicious, distinctly their own flavour.

Philodendron flower in the Mexican jungle.

The shell-like bract of the philodendron inflorescence. The whole shell like shape is therefore not a true flower, botanically speaking, but rather the stalk is a compound of many individual flowers that each mature into a tiny fruit, much like a raspberry.

Leaf texture detail of the philodendron flower

Leaf texture detail of the philodendron bract, acquired while it was still pressed into the middle portion of the structure while growing.

Detail of philodendron flower

Detail of the flower stalk showing the individual flowers that will each mature into a tiny, very sweet fruit.

Philodendron fruit

Philodendron inflorescence after the individual flowers have been pollinated and the compound fruit starts to develop. The one on the left still wears its dessicated bract like a hood. The one in the center has started to swell and grown. The upper right shows one of the main upwards growing stacks and the bases of many leaves.

Although they will grow in most any conditions, getting leggy or shrinking their leaf size in low light, cold, prolonged drought, or other tough indoor conditions, it is glorious to see a specimen thriving in the wild. The group of plants in these photos are between a garden and bit of jungle in Tepoztlan, a town in the state of Morelos, just about 2 hours drive south of Mexico City.

Philodendron plant in the Mexican jungle.

Glorious philodendron leaves, an inspiration to cut paper artists everywhere.

Bright green philodendron leaf

Brand new philodendron leaf still with its bright green texture and already showing the beautiful holes and cuts that distinguish this species.

Portrait with a philodendron plant in the Mexican jungle.

Magda with one of her favorite houseplants out in the wild.

Green leaves arranged like a monster

The forms are so dramatic, these mirrored images were irresistible to shoot.

House with garden in Mexico.

Here is Peter and Cory’s house in Tepoztlan, Mexico, this is the east face. To the left, south side, is where the grading of the hill gets steep and where the jungle portion of the garden is located where these photos were taken.

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