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[zeer-uh-fahyt] /ˈzɪər əˌfaɪt/
a plant adapted for growth under dry conditions.
1895-1900; xero- + -phyte
Related forms
[zeer-uh-fit-ik] /ˌzɪər əˈfɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
xerophytically, adverb
[zeer-uh-fahy-tiz-uh m, -fahy-tiz-] /ˈzɪər əˌfaɪ tɪz əm, -faɪˌtɪz-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for xerophyte
  • xerophyte is a plant that is adapted to a habitat of low moisture availability.
British Dictionary definitions for xerophyte


a xerophilous plant, such as a cactus
Derived Forms
xerophytic (ˌzɪərəˈfɪtɪk) adjective
xerophytically, adverb
xerophytism, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for xerophyte

1906, from xero- + Greek phyton "a plant" (see phyto-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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xerophyte in Science
A plant that is adapted to an arid environment. Many xerophytes have specialized tissues (usually nonphotosynthetic parenchyma cells) for storing water, as in the stems of cacti and the leaves of succulents. Others have thin, narrow leaves, or even spines, for minimizing water loss. Xerophyte leaves often have abundant stomata to maximize gas exchange during periods in which water is available, and the stomata are recessed in depressions, which are covered with fine hairs to help trap moisture in the air. Compare hydrophyte, mesophyte.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for xerophyte

any plant adapted to life in a dry or physiologically dry habitat (salt marsh, saline soil, or acid bog) by means of mechanisms to prevent water loss or to store available water. Succulents (plants that store water) such as cacti and agaves have thick, fleshy stems or leaves. Other xerophytic adaptations include waxy leaf coatings, the ability to drop leaves during dry periods, the ability to reposition or fold leaves to reduce sunlight absorption, and the development of a dense, hairy leaf covering

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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