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epiphyte

[ep-uh-fahyt] /ˈɛp əˌfaɪt/
noun, Botany
1.
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
1840-1850
1840-50; epi- + -phyte
Related forms
epiphytic
[ep-uh-fit-ik] /ˌɛp əˈfɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
epiphytical, adjective
epiphytically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for epiphytic

epiphyte

/ˈɛpɪˌfaɪt/
noun
1.
a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic on it
Derived Forms
epiphytic (ˌɛpɪˈfɪtɪk), epiphytal, epiphytical, adjective
epiphytically, adverb
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 epiphytic
epiphyte
from Gk. epi upon + phyton plant (see phyto-).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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epiphytic in Science
epiphyte
  (ěp'ə-fīt')   
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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