Dirty Word of the Day
Researched by Teresa Watkins
June 11, 2022
When I was researching today?s Dirty Word of the Day, all I could find was one sentence definitions. So I dug a little deeper and the Dirty Word of the Day is Fenestration courtesy of Costa Farms, one of the classiest and lush tropical wholesale growers in the world. They are located all over Florida and up the East Coast to North Carolina.
Merriam-Webster definition of fenestration:1: the arrangement, proportioning, and design of windows and doors in a building, first used in 1846. Fenestration is a term in botany that refers to natural holes in the leaves of some species of plants. The size, shape, and quantity of holes in each leaf can vary greatly depending on the species and can even vary greatly within a given species.
Costa Farms, Karen Weir Jimerson, writer, editor, and regular contributor of gardening and lifestyle articles to Better Homes and Gardens and Country Gardens magazines.
?The holes in some plant leaves offer an exotic (and much sought-after) look. Plant species, such as monstera and pothos, produce leaves that are deeply split and with holes and slits in the interior part of the leaf. Leaf holes are called perforate leaves or fenestrate leaves. The word fenestration comes from Latin fenestratus which means, ?provided with openings.? In the language of Botany, fenestrate means ?having small perforations or transparent areas.? Like little windows!
There are several theories as to why some plants grow this way. One is that it facilitates air flow through the leaves that can help in high winds. Another theory is that the holes help cool the plant. Or capture light better. Or that the perforations help camouflage the plant, protecting it from grazing animals. Regardless of why the plant does this, fenestrated plants are coveted by plant aficionados around the world.
You can help facilitate fenestration in plants that naturally produce holes. For example, monstera leaves become holey as they age and grow bigger. Monstera deliciosa (sometimes called split-leaf philodendron) typically grows to at least 3 feet wide before they produce leaves with holes. 'Cebu Blue' pothos will fenestrate only if it climbs; this plant also needs some age before the leaf splits appear. If you are impatient for your monstera to produce holes, try Monstera adansonii, which is bushier than Monstera deliciosa and produces smaller leaves with holes in younger plants.?
Resource: Karen Weir Johnson, Costa Farms, https://www.costafarms.com/blog/splits-and-holes-plants-with-fenestration
Photo Credit: Wikipedia