Definition of epiphyte in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛpɪfʌɪt/


A plant that grows on another plant, especially one that is not parasitic, such as the numerous ferns, bromeliads, air plants, and orchids growing on tree trunks in tropical rainforests.
Example sentences
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /ɛpɪˈfʌɪt(ə)l/


Pronunciation: /ɛpɪˈfɪtɪk/
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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: epi|phyte

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