With more light hitting the house these days, I’m following the previous shadow post with another indoor plant display. This is our delicious monster (Monstera deliciosa), a common houseplant that is easy to grow if you give it a big pot and plenty of space. A quick look on Instagram or Dribbble would probably reveal that every wannabe interior designer and young illustrator has one against a white wall—and the appeal is undeniable. We’ve had ours for about a year and the largest leaves are still only about as half as their full potential. It would benefit from staking, as they climb in their native habitat, but the sprawl works against the large living room window. A minor complaint is that because it reaches for the morning light, it tends to ignore the room. You can rotate it but then they twist their necks back around, sometimes in a matter of hours. I amped up the contrast on these pictures, but the leaves’ multiplying effect, and bright colors are just as striking in person.

Buyer beware: The ID tag on this plant (from Swanson’s Nursery) said it was a Philodendron. It’s not—Monstera is a separate genus, though the two share a family, Araceae. That said, it’s commonly called a “split-leaf philodendron,” so I suspect this misidentification is irrevocable. Considering its other common names are things silly things like “swiss cheese plant,” this is a good example of why using the Latin is neither fancy nor difficult, it’s just right.