Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Many plants grow from the ground up. Many orchids do not.

Orchids in tropical rain forests found that the amount of light on the ground was not enough. So the evolved into growing from up higher. A crook in a tree might have caught in it some soil and rotting plants, and orchids can live on that. They grow from a point where there is enough light and enough nourishment. Might be a bump in a tree or a rock. Start there, proceed, live life above the ground.

Orchids that evolved in temperate climates, not tropical, usually do the usual ground up growing. They are called terristrial orchids.

The other kind, high grower, are called epiphyte orchids. Epi- from the Greek for on. They live on the plant or rock. They use it as a lift. They don't take life stuff from it, so they aren't parasites. They are just looking to the tree for location, not food.