An epiphyte is a plant that grows on another plant, usually a tree. But this is not a parasitic relationship; the epiphyte survives on the water and nutrients that collect in hollows and crevices in the trunks and branches. Here, Richard Jefferson discusses both the accidental and facultative epiphytes that occur in Britain and Ireland.
There is a long tradition in Britain and Ire-land of interest in, and study of, the lichen and bryophyte species and communities growing epiphytically on the trunks and branches of trees and shrubs. This has included the description and study of these species on trees in woodlands, in wood-pasture and parkland, and on isolated individuals such as in hedgerows (e.g. Rose 1993; Bates et al. 1997).