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Encyclopedia > Epiphyte
Near Orosí, Costa Rica
Near Orosí, Costa Rica
Epiphytes on a tree near Santa Elena in Costa Rica
Epiphytes on a tree near Santa Elena in Costa Rica
An example of an epiphyte assemblage of orchids and bromeliads in a garden setting in Hawaii

An epiphyte is an organism that grows upon or attached to a living plant. The term most commonly refers to higher plants, but epiphytic bacteria, fungi (epiphytic fungi), algae, lichens, mosses, and ferns exist as well. The term epiphytic derives from the Greek epi- (meaning 'upon') and phyton (meaning 'plant'). Epiphytic plants are sometimes called "air plants" because they do not root in soil. However, there are many aquatic species of algae, including seaweeds, that are epiphytes on other aquatic plants (seaweeds or aquatic angiosperms). Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (852x1136, 232 KB) Near Orosí, Costa Rica. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (852x1136, 232 KB) Near Orosí, Costa Rica. ... Orosí seen from the South Orosí is a village in Costa Rica, about 30 km South East of the capital San José. It has a population of about 9000 and is one of the few colonial towns to survive Costa Ricas frequent earthquakes, with one of the oldest churches... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1136x852, 293 KB) Epiphytes on a tree near Santa Elena, Costa Rica. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1136x852, 293 KB) Epiphytes on a tree near Santa Elena, Costa Rica. ... Santa Elena, the Spanish-language name of Saint Helen, is often used as a toponym in parts of the world where that tongue is or was spoken: Santa Elena, Argentina Santa Elena, Belize Santa Elena, La Paz department, Honduras Santa Elena, El Petén department, Guatemala Santa Elena, Campeche, Mexico... Photograph taken by Eric Guinther of epihytes (bromeliads and orchids) on a tree branch in a garden setting in Hawaii. ... Photograph taken by Eric Guinther of epihytes (bromeliads and orchids) on a tree branch in a garden setting in Hawaii. ... Orchid re-directs here; for alternate uses see Orchid (disambiguation) Genera Over 800 See List of Orchidaceae genera. ... Genera See text Bromeliads include epiphytes, such as Spanish moss, and ground plants, such as the Pineapple. ... Official language(s) English, Hawaiian Capital Honolulu Largest city Honolulu Area  Ranked 43rd  - Total 10,931 sq mi (29,311 km²)  - Width n/a miles (n/a km)  - Length 1,522 miles (2,450 km)  - % water 41. ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... Subkingdom/Phyla Chytridiomycota Blastocladiomycota Neocallimastigomycota Glomeromycota Zygomycota Dikarya (inc. ... An epiphytic fungus is a fungus that grows upon, or attached to, a living plant. ... A seaweed (Laurencia) up close: the branches are multicellular and only about 1 mm thick. ... Lichenes from Ernst Haeckels Artforms of Nature, 1904 Lichens are symbiotic associations of a fungus (the mycobiont) with a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont also known as the phycobiont) that can produce food for the lichen from sunlight. ... For other uses, see Moss (disambiguation). ... Ferns could be the plural of fern, a type of plant that reproduces using spores rather than seeds. ... Ascophyllum nodosum exposed to the sun in Nova Scotia, Canada Dead Mans Fingers (Codium fragile) off Massachusetts coast For the Marine Biology Summer internship Marine Algae by Friday Harbor Laboratories, see; Marine Algae For the band, see; Seaweed (band) For the rock musician, see; Seaweed (musician) Seaweeds are any... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants (also angiosperms or Magnoliophyta) are one of the major groups of modern plants, comprising those that produce seeds in specialized reproductive organs called flowers, where the ovulary or carpel is enclosed. ...


Epiphytic organisms usually derive only physical support and not nutrition from their host, though they may sometimes damage the host. Parasitic and semiparasitic plants growing on other plants (mistletoe is well known) are not "true" epiphytes (a designation usually given to fully autotrophic epiphytes), but are still epiphytic in habit. About 4,100 species in approximately 19 families of flowering plants are either partly or completely parasitic on other plants [1]. Parasitic plants have a modified root, the haustorium, that penetrates the host plant and connects to the xylem or phloem or both. ... Families Santalaceae (Viscaceae) Loranthaceae Misodendraceae Mistletoe Viscum album is a plant parasitic on the branches of a tree or shrub. ...


Epiphytic plants use photosynthesis for energy and (where non-aquatic) obtain moisture from the air or from dampness (rain and cloud moisture) on the surface of their hosts. Roots may develop primarily for attachment, and specialized structures (for example, cups and scales) may be used to collect or hold moisture. The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ... Rain is a type of precipitation, a product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that is deposited on the earths surface. ... ROOT is an object-oriented software package developed by CERN. It was originally designed for particle physics data analysis and contains several features specific to this field, but it is also commonly used in other applications such as astronomy and data mining. ...


Epiphytic plants attached to their hosts high in the canopy have an advantage over herbs restricted to the ground where there is less light and herbivores may be more active.


Epiphytic plants are also important to certain animals that may live in their water reservoirs, such as some types of frogs and arthropods. Distribution of frogs (in black) Suborders Archaeobatrachia Mesobatrachia Neobatrachia - List of Anuran families The frogness babe is an amphibian in the order Anura (meaning tail-less from Greek an-, without + oura, tail), formerly referred to as Salientia (Latin saltare, to jump). ... Subphyla and Classes Subphylum Trilobitomorpha Trilobita - trilobites (extinct) Subphylum Chelicerata Arachnida - spiders,scorpions, etc. ...


The best-known epiphytic plants include mosses, orchids, and bromeliads such as Spanish moss (of the genus Tillandsia), but epiphytic plants may be found in every major group of the plant kingdom. Assemblages of large epiphytes occur most abundantly in moist tropical forests, but mosses and lichens occur as epiphytes in almost any environment with trees. For other uses, see Moss (disambiguation). ... Orchid re-directs here; for alternate uses see Orchid (disambiguation) Genera Over 800 See List of Orchidaceae genera. ... Genera See text Bromeliads include epiphytes, such as Spanish moss, and ground plants, such as the Pineapple. ... Binomial name (L.) L. Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) closely resembles its namesake (Usnea, or beard lichen). ... Species See text. ...


Some epiphytic plants are large trees that begin their lives high in the forest canopy. Over decades they send roots down the trunk of a host tree eventually overpowering and replacing it. The strangler fig and the northern rātā (Metrosideros spp.) of New Zealand are examples of this. Epiphytes that end up as free standing trees are also called hemiphytes. hi Strangler Figs are species of fig that begin their lives as epiphytes as their seed lodge in the cracks and crevices of the bark of a host tree. ... Binomial name A.Cunn. ... A hemiphyte is a plant which naturally grows epiphytically, but has extended its roots into the ground to grow independently. ...


In Europe there are no dedicated epiphytic plants using roots, although grass, small bushes or small trees may grow on the branches of other plants.


The first important monograph on epiphytic plant ecology was written by A.F.W. Schimper (Die Epiphytische Vegetation Amerikas, 1888).


Epiphyte is one of the subdivisions of the Raunkiær system. The Raunkiær system is a system for categorising plants using life-form categories, devised by Christen C. Raunkiær (Raunkiær 1934). ...


Popular culture

The fictitious company Epiphyte features prominently in Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon. Also Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad trilogy uses the phenomenon of tiny frogs that live their entire lives in bromeliads as a leitmotif. Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known primarily for his science fiction works in the postcyberpunk genre with a penchant for explorations of society, mathematics, currency, and the history of science. ... Cryptonomicon is a 1999 novel by Neal Stephenson. ... Terence David John Pratchett OBE (born April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England[1]) is an English fantasy author, best known for his Discworld series. ... The Bromeliad Trilogy (also known as in the UK as The Nome Trilogy) is a trilogy of childrens books by Terry Pratchett consisting of Truckers, 1990 Diggers, 1991 Wings, 1991 The trilogy tells the story of the Nomes, a race of tiny people from another world who now live... Genera See text Bromeliads include epiphytes, such as Spanish moss, and ground plants, such as the Pineapple. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


See also

epiphytes are ugly Species About 19 species, including: Epiphyllum anguliger Epiphyllum caudatum Epiphyllum chrysocardium Epiphyllum crenatum Epiphyllum guatemalense Epiphyllum hookeri Epiphyllum lepidocarpum Epiphyllum macropterum Epiphyllum oxypetalum Epiphyllum phyllanthus Epiphyllum pumilum Epiphyllum thomasianum Epiphyllum (upon the leaf in Greek) is a genus of 19 species of epiphytic plants in the cactus family (Cactaceae), native... Species Polypodium polypodioides The Resurrection fern (Polypodium polypodioides) is a species of creeping, course-textured fern very common in the Southeastern United States, being found as far east as Florida north to New York and west to Texas. ... About 4,100 species in approximately 19 families of flowering plants are either partly or completely parasitic on other plants [1]. Parasitic plants have a modified root, the haustorium, that penetrates the host plant and connects to the xylem or phloem or both. ... A houseplant is a plant that is grown indoors in places such as residences and offices. ...


External links

  • BBC: Caring for an air plant
  • Lankester Botanical Garden
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Epiphytes

  Results from FactBites:
 
What is an epiphyte (190 words)
An epiphyte is a plant that normally grows on another plant for support.
Epiphytes can be found in many different environments all over the world, but many of the most beautiful come from the tropic rain forests.
Epiphytes are often found growing in shady conditions, under tree canopies and so on and these are usually adapted to relatively low light levels and many therefore can make good houseplants.
epiphyte - Encyclopedia.com (414 words)
epiphyte 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.
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.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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