Monstera Obliqua vs Adansonii Showdown: Spot the Difference

As a self-proclaimed plant enthusiast, I’ve had the pleasure of caring for various members of the popular Monstera genus. However, none have sparked as much debate and confusion in the plant world as the infamous Monstera obliqua vs. adansonii duo. These two aroids share striking similarities, leading many to question whether they’re truly distinct species.

Embarking on my own investigation, I immersed myself in the finer details of their appearance and sought to unravel what sets them apart. This article shares the lessons I learned along the way, helping others navigate this world of botanical lookalikes.

From Leaf Shape to Growth Patterns

From Leaf Shape to Growth Patterns

Initially, the key differences between Monstera obliqua and adansonii seemed subtle. But upon closer inspection, specific characteristics emerge as telling signs.

Here’s what I discovered:

1. Fenestrations

  • Monstera obliqua: This species boasts dramatically large holes known as fenestrations, creating an intricate, almost lace-like pattern on the leaf surface. Often, the leaf consists primarily of holes, with minimal green tissue remaining.
  • Monstera adansonii: While also featuring fenestrations, the holes are significantly smaller and less prominent. The leaf remains primarily green with a distinctly ‘punch-holed’ appearance.

2. Leaf Texture

  • Monstera obliqua: The leaves of this species are exceptionally delicate and paper-thin, lacking significant texture to the touch.
  • Monstera adansonii: The leaves possess a subtle, slightly textured surface, noticeable when gently rubbed.

3. Growth Habits

  • Monstera obliqua: Renowned for its incredibly slow growth rate and compact size. Mature specimens are rare and highly prized.
  • Monstera adansonii: Comparatively, this species grows much faster and achieves a larger overall size with proper care.

Rarity and Market Value

Rarity and Market Value

One significant factor differentiating Monstera obliqua and adansonii lies in their rarity and corresponding costs. Monstera obliqua is incredibly scarce in both nature and cultivation. Authentic specimens command astronomical prices, often reaching thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, Monstera adansonii enjoys widespread availability and affordability, making it a popular choice for plant enthusiasts everywhere.

1. Price Between Monstera Obliqua and Adansonii

The significant difference in rarity between Monstera obliqua and adansonii translates to a dramatic disparity in market value. Understanding this pricing disparity is crucial, especially for individuals considering purchasing either plant.

Monstera Obliqua

  • Price Range: Due to its exceptional rarity, Monstera obliqua commands a hefty price tag, often reaching into the thousands of dollars.
  • Factors Influencing Price:
    • Maturity. Mature Monstera obliqua specimens are incredibly rare, further driving up their cost. Prices can easily exceed $5,000 for established, healthy plants.
    • Leaf size and hole structure. Larger leaves with extensive fenestrations (holes) are considered even more valuable, potentially reaching tens of thousands of dollars.
    • Provenance. Documentation demonstrating the plant’s origin and authenticity from reputable sources can significantly influence the price.

Monstera Adansonii

  • Price Range: In stark contrast to its rarer counterpart, Monstera adansonii boasts a much lower price point, typically ranging between $20 and $100 depending on the size and maturity of the plant.
  • Accessibility and Availability: Due to its wider availability and faster growth rate, Monstera adansonii caters to a broader audience and is readily found at plant nurseries, online retailers, and even through private sellers.

2. A Focus on Value

A Focus on Value

While the price disparity between Monstera obliqua and adansonii is undeniable, it’s crucial to remember that value extends beyond the monetary cost.

Here’s where the focus should shift:

  • Personal Connection. Choosing a plant based on personal preference and the joy it brings, regardless of rarity or price, fosters a meaningful connection with nature within your home.
  • Care Requirements. Consider the specific care needs of each species. Monstera obliqua’s slow growth and delicate nature require specialized attention that might not be suitable for everyone. Monstera adansonii’s adaptability and resilience make it a better choice for beginners or those with busy lifestyles.
  • Supporting Reputable Sellers. Regardless of your choice, always support reputable sellers who prioritize ethical practices, proper identification, and transparent pricing.

Buyer Beware!

Due to the vast price differences, mislabeling Monstera adansonii as Monstera obliqua to capitalize on unsuspecting buyers is an unfortunate reality.

If you’re searching for the genuine Monstera obliqua, here are some tips:

  • Do your homework. Reputable sellers with extensive knowledge and documentation demonstrating provenance are crucial. Research the species and compare seller offerings with verified sources.
  • Consider the price. If the price seems too good to be true, it likely is. Be cautious of excessively low prices for alleged Monstera obliqua specimens.
  • Examine the leaves meticulously. Look for the distinctive, overwhelmingly holey leaf structure and extreme thinness characteristic of Monstera obliqua.

Appreciation Beyond Rarity

Appreciation Beyond Rarity
Appreciation Beyond Rarity

While the rarity and unique beauty of Monstera obliqua hold undeniable allure, Monstera adansonii is a stunning and rewarding plant in its own right.

Its easy going nature and fast growth make it an excellent houseplant choice for newcomers and seasoned plant lovers alike. Ultimately, both species offer visual interest and can elevate any indoor jungle.

The key lies in identifying what you wish for your collection and making an informed decision based on your individual needs and preferences.

My journey through the Monstera obliqua vs. adansonii debate taught me that while the differences may seem subtle, careful observation and knowledge empower enthusiasts to appreciate the beauty and distinctiveness of each of these captivating plants.

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Final Thought

While both the Monstera obliqua and the Monstera adansonii share the same genus and a visually similar aesthetic, they are indeed separate species with unique traits. The obliqua is the rarer, more delicate plant with larger fenestrations and thinner leaves, while the adansonii is the hardier, more common species with smaller, less numerous holes and thicker foliage.

Understanding these distinctions not only enhances our appreciation of these plants but also guides us in providing the proper care to ensure they thrive in our homes and collections.

In the journey of plant care, knowledge is the key to success, and I hope this exploration of Monstera obliqua vs adansonii has provided you with both the information and the inspiration to delve deeper into the fascinating world of Monsteras.

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