- a plant that grows on another plant but is not a parasite and produces its own food by photosynthesis, as certain orchids, mosses, and lichens; air plant
- a plant parasitic on the external surface of an animal body
Origin of epiphyteepi- + -phyte
- ep′i·phyt′ic , ep′i·phyt′i·cal
an epiphytic bromeliad
From Ancient Greek ἐπιφύτον (epiphyton, “one [plant] that grows upon another plant”), from ἐπί (epi, “on top of”) + φυτόν (phyton, “plant”), via -phyte.