Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Ephipyte"plants -inc Banyan & Pipal

23rd Feb 2011.

An epiphyte is a plant that grows upon another plant (such as a tree) non-parasitically or sometimes upon some other object (such as a building or a wall and derives its moisture and nutrients from Photosynthesis -thro the the air and rain and sometimes from debris accumulating around it.

Typical pic taken of a "Ephipyte" seen and photographed in my compound and on the wall- see pics.

 Wild plant -grows near a wet patch

 A plant grown on a 2nd floor window ledge----

Bird dropping leave seeds intact for many months in cracks and crevices in walls and ledges on roofs and one day the seed starts to germinate and a Plant appears; unchecked it just grows and can even cause cracks in the wall. 
The above pic taken of 2nd floor window ledge -where it has grown into a fairly large plant.   

Ficus Genus trees start this way and grow as Giants which are in this category inc the mighty Banyan & Pipal Tree.
The term epiphytic is derived  from the Greek epi- (meaning 'upon') and phyton (meaning 'plant').Epiphytic plants are sometimes called "air plants" because they do not root in soil.

Epiphytic organisms usually derive only physical support and not nutrition from their host, though they may sometimes damage the host.The nutrition is provided by Photosynthesis and from the moisture in the air - 
They also include Mosses -eg in pics taken below at San Thome Chennai.

Marvel of Nature in God's Creation -
The term Epiphyte --most commonly refers to higher plants, but epiphytic bacteria, fungi (epiphytic fungi), algae, lichens, mosses, and ferns exist as well. However, there are many aquatic species of algae, including seaweeds, that are epiphytes on other aquatic plants (seaweeds or aquatic angiosperms). The best-known epiphytic plants include mosses, orchids, and bromeliads such as Spanish moss (of the genus Tillandsia), but epiphytic plants may be found in every major group of the plant kingdom. 89% of epiphyte species (about 24,000) are flowering plants. The second largest group are the leptosporangiate ferns, with about 2800 species (10% of epiphytes). In fact, about one third of all ferns are epiphytes.[2] The third largest group is clubmosses, with 190 species, followed by a handful of species in each of the spikemosses, other ferns, Gnetales, and cycads.[3]

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