Heterotrophic Plants?

monique at bio.tamu.edu monique at bio.tamu.edu
Tue Oct 22 13:30:33 EST 1996


What about Rafflesia--grows in Borneo, on the roots of trees and vines.  The 
plant lives almost completely within its host's tissues.  Every once in a 
while it flowers--great, big, carrion-smelling things up to 3 feet across (!)

If you extend your search to semi-heterotrophic plants, those that get *some* 
of their food from some"one" else, then your list is going to be much longer.  
All the mistletoes will go on it, as will many members of the 
Scrophulariaceae, such as Castilleja and Agalinis.  

Then there are terrestrial orchids, which are unable to germinate or survive 
without their mycorrhizal friends, and all the legumes and alders that depend 
on N-fixing bacteria for a little help.

Plants are such amazing, diverse, complex organisms--and I think they hate it 
when we try to put them into neat little categories.

Monique Reed
Texas A&M



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