This is quite an embarrassing revelation, but I believe that it is time to come clean.
I have only just discovered the difference between a Monstera and a Philodendron.
Shocking, I know.
For almost two years now I have been babbling on about amazing mid-century modern style and plants that are iconic to this style. One of these plants that I have frequently mentioned is Monstera deliciosa or Fruit Salad Plant. They look great with their large glossy green leaves and their sprawling form that create an amazing feature to a mid-century courtyard.
Monstera this, Monstera that.
Until my lovely wife Amy finally pointed out that a plant I was drooling over was actually something different!
So what is a Monstera?
Monstera deliciosa is also known as the ‘Split-leaf Philodendron’ or even the ‘Swiss Cheese Plant’. These common names are a great pointer towards identifying this great plant. The leaves do in fact have holes in them!
So what is this other plant that I have been mistakenly calling a Monstera?
The other plant is Philodendron bipinnatifidum or ‘Tree Philodendron’. While the large glossy green leaves are very similar to the Monstera, they do not have any holes but long deep lobes.
So why does this matter?
I guess it doesn’t, as both species are fantastic focal plants for your Australian mid-century garden. Monstera are more of a climbing rambling plant, while Philodendron is an upright shrub.
Both are from warmer climates so they do need a bit of protection from extremes of weather in Melbourne, but otherwise there is no reason why you can’t give them a go in your MCM garden!
And while I won’t be handing back my LA qualifications just yet, at least now I won’t make such a fool of myself with false identification!