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Characteristics of epiphytic plants and examples of indoor flowers

Epiphytes are plants attached or growing on the forophytes, but not receiving any nutrients from them. However, they do not belong to parasitic specimens, but use other representatives of the flora as a support. In addition, in this way they receive light from the sun’s rays and are protected from terrestrial herbivores.

With a large number of epiphytes on one support, they can harm this plant.

Epiphytes – plants attached or growing on forophytes, but not receiving any nutrients from them

The greatest number of epiphytes is found in tropical humid climates. They are able to adapt to growing conditions in forested areas.

Developing on other plants, they practically do not depend on the presence of soil cover.

They are distinguished from parasitic plants by the fact that they are fed from the environment. The main representatives of the epiphytes of the tropical belt are orchids and plants of the Bromelia family.

In northern areas, mosses and lichens are widely known. and there are epiphytes among the aroid, commelinic, fern and other plants. Many types of epiphytes have a number of features in their structure, which allow them to eat in unusual conditions.

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This way of existence of epiphytes has led to the fact that they began to appear some structural changes in the structure, which allow them to adapt and exist in particularly difficult conditions.

Many species of epiphytic plants have aerial roots that have a porous structure that can absorb moisture from the air. When the roots get into a humid environment for 24 hours, they are able to increase their mass by 11%.

Some plants have a root system that is able to penetrate the soil, turning into ordinary roots.

The rhizome of some epiphytes, on the contrary, develops upwards in search of food sources. Family Kommelinovye has hairs on the processes of roots, with the help of which the plants feed.

Bromeliads form a receptacle from the leaves in which rainwater is collected.

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In addition, leaves, dust, insects, etc., which later form the food base for epiphytes, enter the bowl. Some specimens have reduced leaves to reduce moisture evaporation.

Epiphytic plants began to be studied closely only at the end of the XIX century. After a long study, the German botanist Schimper managed to make a classification of plants. He divided all representatives into four groups:

    Protoepiphytes only by remote signs can be attributed to these representatives, since they do not have special structures that allow collecting water.

    This group is more characteristic of xeromorphic plants. Most specimens of this group have leaves that can accumulate and retain some moisture in them.

    Representatives of liana-like epiphytes are capable of storing moisture in stems.

Epiphytic plants have aerial roots that have a porous structure to absorb moisture from the air.

  • The second group includes specimens capable of collecting organic residues, which are their main food. They are called nested or brackish epiphytes, which include ferns, aroid and orchids. They have a root system so intertwined that it is very similar to the bird’s nest. Leaves and plant residues that turn into humus over time get into this interlacing. Some bracket representatives have leaves that form close to the trunk of a crater or pockets, which gradually build up stocks of humus. A famous example of epiphytes of this group is the antler fern.
  • The next group includes reservoir epiphytes, which are especially adapted for development on other representatives of the flora. These include only specimens of the bromeliad family, which have long and hard leaves that form a container for collecting water. In such a reservoir inhabited by a mass of plants and small animals.
  • Another group consists of semi-epiphytes, which begin their life on treetops, but then their roots reach the ground and take root in it. These include aroid, ficus and other plants.
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    Very often, indoor plants grow flowers epiphytes. They are distinguished by their simplicity and uncomplicated care. These representatives include:

    1. Phalaenopsis is a flower from the Orchid family. In the wild, it develops on trees without harming them. The flower has leaves that reach from 5 to 30 cm in length. Some species have a beautiful marble pattern. Aerial roots are green due to the presence of chlorophyll.
    2. Sansevieria is a flower that refers to representatives that do not have stems. Its distinctive feature is the ability to absorb at night a number of substances harmful to the human body and release oxygen.

    Orchid Phalaenopsis wild grows on trees without harming them

  • Dendrobium is an exotic epiphytic specimen with large and fragrant flowers. Racemes can be both straight and hanging.
  • Philodendron – Liana from the family Aroid. The flower has two types of leaves, which first grow with scales, and then become simple on long petioles.
  • Nephrolepis is a fern, which may be an epiphytic or terrestrial representative of the Davallia family. In the wild, it is found in the territories of Africa, Asia and Australia. It is very popular for growing indoors.
  • As well as epiphytic flowers include: Cymbidium, Ehmeya, Medinilla, Tillandsia, etc.

    Epiphytes are very interesting and unusual representatives of the flora. At first glance, it may seem that they are parasitic on other plants. But actually it is not.

    They have their own special power system, not related to the support.

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