epiphyte

[ep-uh-fahyt]
noun Botany.
a plant that grows above the ground, supported nonparasitically by another plant or object, and deriving its nutrients and water from rain, the air, dust, etc.; air plant; aerophyte.

Origin:
1840–50; epi- + -phyte

epiphytic [ep-uh-fit-ik] , epiphytical, adjective
epiphytically, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
epiphyte (ˈɛpɪˌfaɪt)
 
n
a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic on it
 
epiphytic
 
adj
 
epi'phytal
 
adj
 
epi'phytical
 
adj
 
epi'phytically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

epiphyte
from Gk. epi upon + phyton plant (see phyto-).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
epiphyte   (ěp'ə-fīt')  Pronunciation Key 
A plant that grows on another plant and depends on it for support but not food. Epiphytes get moisture and nutrients from the air or from small pools of water that collect on the host plant. Spanish moss and many orchids are epiphytes. Also called aerophyte, air plant.

epiphytic adjective (ěp'ə-fĭt'ĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The damp terrain and omnipresent mist provided the perfect environment for the
  moisture-loving epiphytes.
The trees and the bush were epiphytes, aerial plants that grow on other plants
  without harming them, usually on trees.
Almost all orchid species in the warm rain forests lived as epiphytes, growing
  from other plants, often high up in the canopy.
Among flowering plants, the best-known epiphytes are orchids and bromeliads.
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