- a plant that grows above the ground, supported nonparasitically by another plant or object, and deriving its nutrients and water from rain, the air, dust, etc.; air plant; aerophyte.
Origin of epiphyte
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for epiphyte
This epiphyte, too, is very different in structure from wheat-rust.Science and Practice in Farm Cultivation
One is purely an epiphyte, growing attached to a tree like many of the orchids.Tropic Days
E. J. Banfield
Epiphyte, a plant growing on another plant, but not nourished by it, 36.The Elements of Botany
Here occurred the only Epiphyte observed during the expedition.
The same difficulty may have existed in the case of the herbaceous Miadesmia, if, as Miss Benson conjectures, it was an epiphyte.Darwin and Modern Science
A.C. Seward and Others
- a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic on it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for epiphyte
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A plant that grows on another plant and depends on it for support but not food. Epiphytes get moisture and nutrients from the air or from small pools of water that collect on the host plant. Spanish moss and many orchids are epiphytes. Also called aerophyte air plant
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