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[free-at-uh-fahyt] /friˈæt əˌfaɪt/
a long-rooted plant that absorbs its water from the water table or the soil above it.
Origin of phreatophyte
1915-20; < Greek phreat- (see phreatic) + -o- + -phyte
Related forms
[free-at-uh-fit-ik] /friˌæt əˈfɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for phreatophyte
  • The current condition greatly favors non-native, water consuming, phreatophyte species.
  • Seed germination and seedling establishment of phreatophyte species.
  • Hydraulic redistribution by a dominant, warm desert phreatophyte: seasonal patterns and response to precipitation pulses.
  • VP is fed by a fast-flowing, cool spring, and supports a profuse growth of wetland and phreatophyte vegetation.
  • As a phreatophyte, its root system readily invades the saturated zone and tolerates prolonged flooding.
British Dictionary definitions for phreatophyte


a plant having very long roots that reach down to the water table or the layer above it
Word Origin
C20: from Greek phrear a well + -phyte
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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phreatophyte in Science
A deep-rooted plant that obtains water from a permanent ground supply or from the water table, such as many tamarisk species. Phreatophytes are often found in arid environments.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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