Monstera Obliqua - Do we have one? Do you?

monstera plant history plant identification rare plants

Monstera Obliqua - No, we don't have one. No, you probably don't either.  

Is it an Olbiqua? Guys, no. It's not. That's why there's a hashtag - #itsneverobliqua. The elusive, and very rare Monstera Obliqua is a beautiful monstera that looks very similar in leaf structure to an adansonii, so it is often billed as an Obliqua instead of Adansonii, and many buyers have been fooled and often swindled buying what they thought was an Obliqua.  Our blog on the more achievable Monsteras can help! 

  • Obliqua is 90% holes and 10% leaf - While this can certainly be true... it's not a way to confirm identification of an obliqua. This is a myth. the Peruvian form is like this, but others are not. 
  • There are several forms, and some have very fenestrated leaves, but others do not. 
  • It's leaves are very delicate and will often yellow very easily. 
  • It is epiphytic - which means it can grow on top of other plants like an orchid or tillandsia - and doesn't require soil. It collects nutrients from air and water pools from the host plant.
  • It needs 80-90% humidity all of the time, which is why it makes a terrible houseplant. Most homes are below 30%  humidity, and many are below 10% with air conditioning, heating ducts, etc. 
  • Obliqua has stolons, or leafless runners that the plant puts out in search of a new place to grow in the forest. Adansonii does NOT have them. 
  • Obliqua has been found ONLY 17 times in nature, and while very few private collectors have an obliqua, most specimens are in botanical gardens and most often behind lock and key. 
  • It is a very very slow growing plant outside of its natural habitat. 
  • Almost never will you find an obliqua listed for sale on a website like ebay or etsy. If you did find one on a rare plant collection site, it would be in the mid 4 figure price point. 
  • This information comes in part from what Michael Madison wrote in his publication “A revision of Monstera (Araceae)” in 1977

Should you be sad? No. Unless you have a tropical greenhouse and are an expert in this plant, you shouldn't try to own one. It is a very slow-growing, difficult to cultivate plant that should be treasured as part of professional collections. 

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monstera obliqua identification

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