Plants that Live on Plants – no, actually “live off” plants

Are plants that live on other plants parasites? Not really, right? Especially in the tropics, you can hardly find a tree on which there isn’t a growth of another kind of plant ranging from tiny mosses via larger ferns to proper seed-bearing species. However, such ‘epiphytes’ (as these species that are using a bigger individual as a support to grow on are called) may only weaken their host by being too numerous or by becoming too heavy. They can also affect their host by intercepting some rain water and shadowing some of the host plant’s leaves and/or by providing shelter to insects and other arthropods that can be foes as well as friends. However, as long as they do not sink their own roots into the host plant’s body, they are not removing anything from their host. And that’s different in species belonging to the genus Viscum, commonly known as the “mistletoe”. —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow in warfare with odours flower smell

Warfare with Odours

Do flowers smell to repel or to appeal?

Plants don’t like to be eaten and all of us know that therefore they use a number of tricks to minimise losses inflicted on them by herbivores and kin. Spikes, spines, needles, spicules, thorns and barbs as well as toxic substances in leaves, stems, and fruits are some of the better-known measures with which plants increase their unpalatability and thus their survival. However, not only do plants like not to be eaten, but they also have to make sure that their valuable pollen is not stolen by pollen eaters. —>—>