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Name: Megan
RI (Zone 6b)
Image
Megos1286
Jan 7, 2020 6:53 PM CST
After drooling over these for quite a while, I went to Logees and picked out this one!
Logees marks them as Monstera Minima, but other places are selling them as Rhaphidophora tetrasperma. Is there a difference? If so, what is it?
Regardless, this variety is super cool and I am so happy to have it added to my collection.
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Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
Jan 7, 2020 10:52 PM CST
You can go to Logees?! How fun!

I've heard it called "mini monstera" frequently. If I'm not mistaken, they are each from a different genus but just happen to look similar. One is monstera deliciosa and the other is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.

I'm sure there are others who can get in depth on the differences, I just wanted to say congratulations on a lovely find Thumbs up
Name: Megan
RI (Zone 6b)
Image
Megos1286
Jan 8, 2020 7:50 AM CST
Thanks Adrienne! Yes, we live about 30 minutes from Logees. It's such a fun time to go walk through their beautiful greenhouses but also dangerous for the budget! Haha!
Name: Kay
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
Image
kathyoven
Jan 8, 2020 9:40 AM CST
beautiful RT! mine slows it's growth in the winter but starting about february will start growing quickly!
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 8, 2020 1:35 PM CST
Ummmmm no they are not the same.
Monstera minima is a Monstera.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a Rhaphidophora.
They are not interchangeable, they are 2 separate genus of plants
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 8, 2020 2:11 PM CST
I can pretty much guarantee you @Megos1286 that you do not have a Monstera minima. You have a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.

If you would permit me, Monstera minima is actually extremely rare in cultivation. Some specimens do exist in botanical gardens, and in private collections, (especially in the area where they naturally occur) and some of these have been shared, but this plant is not a current frequent player of the plant trade.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, however, has been on the circuit for many years. And this is where the complicating factor comes in: people who don't realize that these plants are 2 different genuses call this plant 'The Mini-Monstera', From that misnomer, the 2 plants have become irreversibly linked in the mind of the plant buying (and selling) public. This plant is ALSO misnamed and sold under the name 'Philodendron GINNY' so if you see that do not buy it again you will be buying the same plant twice.

This is the data regarding both these plants. I wouldn't post it, its boring, but you asked LOL what the difference is.

Rhaphidophora tertasperma was first described by HOOK in 1893. It comes from peninsular Malaysia and Thailand. In his excellent scientific paper published in the Garden Bulletin, Singapore, 51, (1999) pp. 183-256 Dr. Peter Boyce gives the complete description of this plant. It is found in dry to moist and into wet forest, growing on sandstone and granite, as a shingling juvenile which eventually turns into its adult form (the fenestrated 'monstera looking' leaves that you have. It is almost never sold as the juvenile form, and what is most commonly sold is more than one rooted top cutting of an adult plant) The adult leaves cling to the stone as it grows upward.

Monstera minima, on the other hand, comes from PANAMA and COLOMBIA. It was first describes in 1967 by Duke, a single specimen was collected in Panama in the region of Choco, Comarcu de San Blas. It was recollected again by Madison in 1977 in the Reserva El Amargal. This plant is ONLY known from the Carribean coast of Panama and the Pacific slope of No. Colombia growing in wet premontane and wet tropical forest. It is often confused in the wild with Monstera obliqua and Monstera xanthospatha (Jacome and Croat, 2002, Aroideana, Vol 25 p. 60). It is extremely uncommon in cultivation.



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Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
Jan 8, 2020 4:42 PM CST
Megos1286 said:Thanks Adrienne! Yes, we live about 30 minutes from Logees. It's such a fun time to go walk through their beautiful greenhouses but also dangerous for the budget! Haha!


I would have to move away, seriously. I would be bankrupt.
Name: Megan
RI (Zone 6b)
Image
Megos1286
Jan 9, 2020 12:08 PM CST
@Gina1960 thank you for the history and information! That's so interesting, especially that the watering requirements are opposite according to the articles that you posted. Do you, or does anyone here have any care tips for these guys? So far I have been treating it like any of my other monsteras/philodendrons and so far it is doing great.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 9, 2020 12:54 PM CST
You have to understand that the watering requirements are different because they are growing in a completely different environment than in your house. Aroids growing on rocks may or may not have roots in soil, but all the water they get runs down the rock. They soak some up there with the adventitious roots, and the rest they get through the soil roots (which, in rocky areas, isn't much because it tends to sheet off, especially if there isa a rock strata just under the topsoil surface.) So they take what they get when it comes. There is no watering schedule in the wild. It is also very humid where they grow, as opposed to your house. Adventitious roots on some plants have adaptations that let them catch moisture from the humidity in the air.

A friend of mine who lives in Colombia and imports plants for sale lives in an area where it rains daily. Humidity is 90+% all the time. That is why so many of these plants have become epiphytic, or hemi-epiphytic, or lithophytic.

There isn;t any reason to trees it differently than other containerized aroids.

I tried to stay to the most salient points and left out the intensely burdensome morphological and taxonomic differences between the 2 plants, (such as space between internodes, length of cataphylls, reflexed vs non-reflexed cataphyls and spathes, color and size of fruiting bodies, differences in venation of leaves, petiolar length and morphology, petiolar attachment, etc) which are really how all of these various plants are placed in one Genus/species group or another (outside of cellular i.e. DNA testing) because that gets really laborious.
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Name: Megan
RI (Zone 6b)
Image
Megos1286
Jan 10, 2020 11:29 AM CST
Hi Gina,
Oh yes - totally understood, makes perfect sense. Also glad to hear that I should treat them as I treat my other ariods! That must be so cool to have a friend in Columbia that imports plants for work.

I really enjoy reading all of this information, thank you so much!
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 10, 2020 11:57 AM CST
I became interested in how the naming of aroids worked when I joined the IAS years ago. I never could understand what it meant when you saw a plant name with someone's name after it. Then I was clued in that the name (Matuda, Schott, Engler, Croat etc) is the (in the olden days) naturalist or (present day) research botanist who discovered that plant and 'described it' to science for the first time.

Did you ever see the movie 'Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World'? Remember the guy who was the scientist with his little cages and notebook collecting stuff? That is how they used to do it.

Now its kind of like Jurassic Park where Alan and Ellie are out on a site collecting specimens and data and hoping for funding. They go out into the jungle or wherever and do field collection of specimens and bring them back for genetic testing if they have the $$. Sometimes they know they are looking at totally new undescribed species, sometimes they have to study them and compare them longer. Once they know, they write a scientific paper and it gets published in a journal, or presented at a conference, or whatever. Once that happens, the new species is considered to have been described. And, they get to name it!

There are specific points of taxonomy that botanists have to look at when deciding if they have a brand new undescribed species, a sub-species of an existing already described species, or just a natural variation of a species. These differences can seem minute and nitpicky, like whether a leaf unrolls one way or the other, or whether the cataphyll is persistent (dries up and stays on the stem after the leaf emerges), or deciduous (drops off later), whether the veins in the leaf are flat, raised, or sunken...but these small differences lead to larger discoveries, like the fact that some of the Anthurium species that live in Northern Mexico, while they are in the same exact section as plants that live in true South America and even look very similar morphologically, have different numbers of chromosomes and are therefore unrelated, and will not hybridize with each other.

I find all that very interesting from a geeky sort of way.

Yeah the guy in Colombia is trying to start up a business getting sister-partner-nurseries already established here in the USA to kind of sell his plants on the greater US market. I think he will be successful, given the current craze about plants in general and aroids in particular.
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Name: Natalie
NY
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nataliaror
Jan 25, 2020 4:42 PM CST
Gina, thanks for providing all this info. What a wealth of knowledge! I enjoyed reading your posts.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jan 25, 2020 4:45 PM CST
Thanks!
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