Parasite Facts



  • Parasitic plants are plants that get their food not by using sunlight but from other plants, at the others’ expense.
  • In the gloom of tropical rainforests, where sunlight cannot penetrate, there are many parasitic plants growing on the trees.
  • Lianas save themselves energy growing a trunk by climbing up other trees, clinging on with little hooks.
  • Rafflesia, the world’s biggest flower, is a parasite that feeds on the roots of Figs begin growing from seeds left high on branches by birds or fruit bats.
  • Fig roots grow down to the ground around the roots of the tree, strangling it by taking its water supply. The tree then dies away, leaving the roots of the fig as a hollow ‘trunk’.
  • Mistletoes are semiparasitic plants that wind round trees. They draw some of their food from the tree and some from sunlight with their own leaves.
  • Viscum album mistletoe was held sacred by Druids 2000 years ago.
  • The druid belief in the magic power of mistletoe survives in the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe at Christmas.
  • Figs begin growing from seeds left high on branches by birds or fruit bats.
  • Fig roots grow down to the ground around the roots of the tree, strangling it by taking its water supply. The tree then dies away, leaving the roots of the fig as a hollow ‘trunk’.
  • Mistletoes are semiparasitic plants that wind round trees.