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What Does Epiphyte Mean?

Epiphyte is the name given to any type of plant that in some way grows on, or is attached to another plant primarily for physical support, and without taking nutrients from the plant in a parasitic fashion. In this sense a parasite and an epiphyte are different. Epiphytes are often also called air plants due to the manner in which they derive their nutrients.

Safeopedia Explains Epiphyte

Epiphytes derive nutrients from the air, rain and debris that collects on supporting plants, but do not take nutrients directly from them. Epiphytes have no attachment to the ground or any other obvious nutrient source. Epiphytes are found mostly in tropical areas. Orchids, ferns and members of the pineapple family are all types of tropical epiphytes while lichens, mosses and algae are types that are found in more temperate climates.


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