Epiphytes & Lithophytes

Epiphytes & Lithophytes

What are they?

Epiphytes

Epiphytes are plants which grow above the ground surface and use other plants as well as objects for support . They don’t grow in soil so need high humidity to survive. There has long been a myth that epiphytes (orchids) are parasites, this is not true as they do no harm to their host, they are merely trying to avoid competition and  reach for more light.

Many orchids are infact epiphytic; over half of the 20,000 species of orchids are epiphytic!

Lithophytes

Lithophytes are a type of plant that grows in or on rocks. Lithophytes feed off moss, nutrients in rain water, litter, and even their own dead tissue. Their roots will grow in to crevices for support, and  in search of moisture and food.

Some of  these species being in the Genus  Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium, Cypripedium,Dendrobium, Cattleya, Sarcochilus, Bulbopyllum and more!


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