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 rainforests.
- Many tropical orchids are epiphytes, growing on the side of trees, and will not do well if their roots stay wet.
- Flowering epiphytes - bromeliads, orchids and cacti - are presented most commonly.
- A cool, bright spot out of direct sun is best for these tropical epiphytes that grow naturally in rain-forest trees.
- Example sentences
- The evolution of pollination strategies in epiphytic flowering plants have been strongly influenced by their habitat and spatial distribution.
- The lowest water permeabilities were observed with evergreen leaves from epiphytic or climbing plants naturally growing in a tropical climate.
- Microstylis and its relatives, although often growing on the ground, have pseudobulbs (probably indicating epiphytic origins) and thus are really semi-terrestrial.
Mid 19th century: from epi- 'in addition' + Greek phuton 'plant'.
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