Epiphytes Are Distinctive Plants – Definition & Examples


Epiphytes can be discovered in uncommon locations, such as the trunks of trees or cliff sides.  Here is the definition of epiphyte and a couple of examples.

Life is all about us and requires unique shapes and forms to survive.  There are thousands upon thousands of unique sorts of animals from tiny bugs to big moose.  Then there are all the types of fungi and mushrooms all through the globe.  Another type that life requires are the plants that cover the globe.  Those plants are basically the basis for the rest of life because they are capable to convert sunlight to power.  One exceptional variety of plant are epiphytes.


What Is An Epiphyte?

An epiphyte is a variety of plant that lives on an additional plant or rock.  It does not send roots down to the ground.  Rather, it gets its moisture and nutrients from what collects about it or the air, which is why it is also referred to as an air plant.  They have roots only to hold them in spot.

Frequently, they are not parasitic, which indicates that they do not harm the plant that they are developing on.


Appear at these epiphytes developing on the branch of a tree. Photo through Flickr.

What Sort Of Plant Is An Epiphyte?

Epiphytes are not a specific sort of plant.  Instead they can be quite a few unique varieties.  Most epiphytes are flowering plants, such as the lovely orchids that men and women like to obtain.  However, they can also be a non-flowering plant, such as mosses, ferns, lichen and liverworts.  All of these reproduce with spores.

Exactly where Do Epiphytes Develop?

They have a tendency to develop most usually in rainforests since in order to survive they require to be someplace that has a lot of moisture in the air.  However, they also can be discovered in dry forests and there is even a single species that lives in the desert.

It is estimated that there are a lot more than 30,000 unique sorts of epiphytes in the globe.

Epiphytes can be discovered in the forests of the Rocky Mountains.  The principal sort of epiphyte in the dry forests of the Rockies is lichen.

Examples of Epiphytes


Spanish moss. Photo through Flickr.

Spanish Moss, an epiphyte, is basically not a moss, but is a bromeliad.


Appear at this lovely orchid.  Photo through Flickr.

There are orchids all through the globe.  Many develop on the ground and other folks are epiphytes.


The principal variety of epiphyte that can be discovered in the Rocky Mountains is lichens.  There are many species of epiphytic lichens.  There are 3 principal varieties of lichens -crusty, leafy, and shrubby.  The lichen in the above image is a variety of leafy lichen.

Scientists in the Rockies are basically starting to study the lichens and use them as an indicator of how polluted the air is.


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