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A DELICIOUS MONSTER
One of the most unusual fruits you will find on Abaco at this time of year is the Monstera deliciosa or ceriman. Throughout the year it is valued for its giant leaves which are three feet long, two feet wide and riddled with Swiss cheese holes. The plant is vinous and climbs trees readily adding a tropical rain forest effect to its hosts.
Monstera flowers briefly once a year in late August or September and the hooded aspect shows it as a member of the Arum lily family. The central spadix takes a year to ripen. When it does, the hexagonal sections swell and can be removed from the spadix.
The taste of Monstera has been likened to a cross between sweet banana and pineapple. Be careful, however. If the fruit is at all unripe it may contain spicules of oxalic acid crystals. These can cause severe choking in young infants and are an unpleasant experience even for adults.
When the spadix begins to ripen, break it from the parent plant and store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Only a few inches will ripen each day. Some people keep the fruit immersed in a tall glass of water.
Monstera deliciosa can be easily propagated from lower stem cuttings containing at least three leaf scars. Plant the section sideways with the top side at ground level. If you plant the section near a tree the Monstera can be trained to climb the tree. If you plant Monstera alone, make sure it has plenty of space to spread.
The broad leaves of Monstera deliciosa add a splendid tropical effect to any yard and the unusual fruits are a bonus.
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