A plant that grows on or is in some manner attached to another plant or object for physical support. AKA air plants, they have no attachment to the ground or other obvious nutrient source. They obtain water and minerals from rain and debris that collects on the supporting plant. Orchids, ferns,and bromiliads are common tropical epiphytes. Lichens, mosses, liverworts,and algae are temperate epiphytes. Mistletoes sometimes considered epiphytes.

Ep"i*phyte (?), n. [Gr. upon + plant, to grow: cf. F. 'epiphyte.]

1. Bot.

An air plant which grows on other plants, but does not derive its nourishment from them. See Air plant.

2. Med.

A vegetable parasite growing on the surface of the body.


© Webster 1913.

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