Monstera Spruceana is one of the few monsteras that has a velvety texture like this and it's absolutely breathtaking in person!
Monstera spruceana is rare, and unknown in cultivation, and like M. obliqua, it is considered a species complex, meaning there are many different forms or variants of this species, and taxonomists are working to decipher whether all of these variants and forms are separate species in and of themselves.
Named in honor of English botanist Richard Spruce, is one of the few members of Monstera section Marcgraviopsis. According to some authors, there may be two distinct species involved since the natural variation of the species is diverse. She has been observed growing at elevations ranging from 70 to 1400 meters.
The species was originally published in 1859 as Tornelia spruceana but science later determined the plant was published in the wrong genus and as a result, the name T. spruceana is now a basionym. All species formerly in the genus Tornelia were transferred to the genus Monstera in 1866.
Monstera species as well as all aroids are variable - variability indicates the leaves and some other features of a species do not always appear the same.
This plant’s morphology changes quite a lot throughout the course of its life, starting its journey by sending stolons along the surface of the jungle floor, and it has a very stressful task indeed - find a tree to climb or die. Literally. If the young stolons/runners do not successfully find a tree to climb within a certain radius, they will kill themselves, and never mature. Once the little stolon successfully finds a host tree, it begins the second phase of its life - shingling.
Small leaves pressed to the surface of the bark ensure stability as the young plant desperately tries to obtain the higher light conditions it needs to mature. Onto the third and final stage - maturity. Once it has ascended high enough, it will begin to fenestrate.