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Epiphyte

An epiphyte or "air plant" is a plant that does not root in the soil but grows upon another living plant. An epiphyte uses photosynthesis for energy and draws moisture from the air or from dampness on the surface of its host. It is thus not a parasite, as it is independent of the other plant except for physical support. However, epiphytes may grow so thickly as to damage the host plant.

The best-known epiphytes are orchids and bromeliads, such as Spanish moss and Tillandsia. They are most abundant in the moist tropics.


The fictitious company Epiphyte is prominent in Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon.



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