epiphyte

noun epi·phyte \ ˈe-pə-ˌfīt \

Definition of epiphyte

: a plant that derives its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and grows usually on another plant

Recent Examples of epiphyte from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epiphyte.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Epiphytic plants are sometimes known as "air plants" because they seemingly survive on thin air. They rely on their host plants merely for physical support, not nourishment. Tropical epiphytes include orchids, ferns, and members of the pineapple family. To a newcomer in the tropical rain forest, the first sight of a great tree with large epiphytes hanging from every level can be eerie and astonishing. Familiar epiphytes of the temperate zone include lichens, mosses, and algae, which may grow on rocks or water without touching the soil.

First Known Use of epiphyte

circa 1847


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