Photo by Melody

Definition of parasitic plant

Categorized under "General"

Definition as written by Calalily:

It is a plant that lives off another ("host") plant. For example, Indian Pipe lives off the roots of its host plant; mistletoe lives off the branches of trees.

Definition as written by Floridian:

When a plant acquires its nutrients from another plant, it often results in declined vigor or death of the host plant

Definition as written by Monocromatico:

There are two kinds of parasitic plants: the hemiparasites, and the holoparasites.

The hemiparasites grow its roots to the hostīs xylem, absorbing water and raw material (minerals) from the host. The parasite still needs to do photosynthesis, as it never absorbs organic matter and needs to make it itself, so its general appearance isnīt very different from any other plant (with branches, green leaves, etc). The most famous examples are the Mistletoes, but there are also members of the families Santalaceae and Loranthaceae in this cathegory.

The holoparasites launches its roots on the hostīs phloem, absorbing water and the organic substances the host synthetized during the photosynthesis. This way, the parasite donīt need to do photosynthesis itself, and so they are usually colorless plants, or just grows completely in the hosts body. Examples of this type of parasite plants are the genera Cuscuta and Rafflesia (the later having the biggest flowers of all the flowering plants).

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