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Philodendron Monstara



At Everything Grows we are always looking to find new and interesting tropical plants for your
work space, we came across this Article on why plants might naturally
have holes in their leaves:



Evolutionary
biologist
Christopher
Muir has seen
plenty of
unusual
vegetation
while
exploring
tropical
rainforests,
from a
foot-long
flower to a
plant that
uses ants to
protect
itself. But it
was in a
hallway near
his office at
the University
of the
Balearic
Islands in
Spain that he
spied
something
truly
memorable: a
holey
houseplant,
Monstera
deliciosa,
also known as
the Swiss
cheese plant
for the large
holes that
punctuate its
leaves.

The
plant
immediately
struck Muir (a
distant
relative of
famed
naturalist
John Muir) as
odd because
plants need to
maximize
surface area
to absorb as
much sunlight
as possible.
They can do
this by either
having lots of
small leaves,
or fewer large
ones.



Why,
Muir wondered,
would this
large-leafed
plant punch
windows in its
foliage?
Searching for
a plausible
evolutionary
explanation,
he considered
where the
plant
naturally
grows: in
thick tropical
forests,
clinging to
the trunks of
trees about
midway between
ground and
canopy. Might
the holes
somehow help
Monstera
capture the
sparse,
dappled
sunlight that
filters down
through the
thick trees?

 



Muir
proposed to
solve the
puzzle by
creating a
mathematical
model that
captures the
relationship
between a
leaf’s shape,
size and
ability to
intercept
stray glints
of sunlight
that filter
through the
canopy. He saw
that surface
area wasn’t
everything: By
extending a
leaf’s overall
size while
keeping
living,
energy-greedy
matter to a
minimum, the
plant
increases the
odds that at
least some of
the splotchy
sunlight will
strike each
leaf.



It’s a
smart
strategy. “If
you have some
resources
you’re going
to allocate to
make a leaf,
you can make
it smaller but
completely
filled in, or
make windows
and take up a
larger area,”
Muir says. “If
light is
relatively
random, it
makes sense to
spread the
leaf area you
have … to
give you more
chances to
intercept
those sun
flecks.



The
article
above came
from the April
2014 issue of
Discovery
Magazine 

http://discovermagazine.com/2014/april/2-o-holey-leaf

By the way, the Philodendron Monstara has become wildly popular this past year, to the point where we are having troubles finding larger specimens.

Are
you ready for beautiful live plants to warm up your workspace such as the Monstara?   Contact Everything Grows today to have one of our
in-house designers visit your office for a complimentary consultation
and design proposal to help make your space come alive with plants!