How to Cite

Putz, F. E., & Holbrook, N. M. (1986). NOTES ON THE NATURAL HISTORY OF HEMIEPIPHYTES. Selbyana, 9(1), 61–69. Retrieved from


Hemiepiphytes are plants that either begin as true epiphytes and later establish root connections with the ground (primary hemiepiphytes) or start as climbing plants and secondarily become epiphytic through the loss ofterrestrial connections (secondary hemiepiphytes). The taxonomic distribution of hemiepiphytes is quite broad, suggesting that this life history has evolved several times. Distinctive characteristics ofthe growth form ofhemiepiphytes, including strangler trees and banyans, are discussed and features oftheir anatomy and physiology are considered. Particular attention is paid to the transition from the epiphytic to the terrestrial phase. Although the hemiepiphytic life history is considered as primarily a means ofavoiding the dim light offorest interiors, it also may allow escape from fire, flooding, and the depredations ofterrestrial herbivores.


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