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epiphyte

epiphyte (ĕp´əfīt´) or air plant, any plant that does not normally root in the soil but grows upon another living plant while remaining independent of it except for support (thus differing from a parasite). An epiphyte manufactures its own food (see photosynthesis) in the same way that other green plants do, but obtains its moisture from the air or from moisture-laden pockets of the host plant, rather than from the soil. Some epiphytes are found in every major group of the plant kingdom. Of the flowering plants, the best-known epiphytes are orchids and bromeliads, such as Spanish moss. Epiphytes may grow upon the trunk, branches, or leaves of the host plant, sometimes so thickly as to damage the original plant by crowding out its leaves. They are most abundant in the moist tropics.

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epiphyte

ep·i·phyte / ˈepəˌfīt/ • n. Bot. a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic, such as the numerous ferns, bromeliads, air plants, and orchids growing on tree trunks in tropical rain forests. DERIVATIVES: ep·i·phyt·al / ˌepəˈfītl/ adj. ep·i·phyt·ic / ˌepəˈfitik/ adj.

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epiphyte

epiphyte A plant that uses another plant, typically a tree, for its physical support, but which does not drawn nourishment from it. Well-known examples include Platycerium (staghorn fern) and many members of the Bromeliaceae and Orchidaceae. Epiphytes are a conspicuous feature of many kinds of tropical rain forest.

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epiphyte

epiphyte A plant that uses another plant, typically a tree, for its physical support, but which does not draw nourishment from it. Well-known examples include Platycerium (staghorn fern) and many members of the Bromeliaceae and Orchidaceae. Epiphytes are a conspicuous feature of many kinds of tropical rain forest.

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epiphyte

epiphyte (air plant) Plant that grows on another plant, but is not a parasite. Epiphytes usually have aerial roots and produce their own food by photosynthesis. They are common in tropical forests. Examples are some ferns, orchids, Spanish moss, and many bromeliads.

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epiphyte

epiphyte A plant that grows upon another plant but is neither parasitic on it nor rooted in the ground. Epiphytes include many mosses and lichens and some tropical orchids.

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epiphyte

epiphyte (bot.) vegetable parasite. XIX. f. Gr. EPI- +phutón plant.

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"epiphyte." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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