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They are herbs or evergreen vines, growing to heights of 20 m in trees, climbing by means of aerial roots which act as hooks over branches; these roots will also grow into the soil to help support the plant. The leaves are alternate, leathery, dark green, very large, from 25-90 cm long (up to 130 cm long in M. dubia) and 15-75 cm broad, often with holes in the leaf blade. The flowers are borne on a specialised inflorescence called a spadix, 5-45 cm long; the fruit is a cluster of white berries, edible in some species.
They are commonly grown indoors as houseplants. The best-known representative of the genus, Monstera deliciosa, is also cultivated for its edible fruit which taste like a combination of banana and pineapple