Epiphyte A plant that grows on other plants for support only obtaining nutrients from the air and rain. A plant having the characteristics of an epiphyte is called epiphytic. [see picture gallery]

Facultative epiphyte A plant usually growing as an epiphyte but rooted on the ground. A plant that has the ability to grow under different conditions.

Hylocereeae A tribe, whose members are mainly distributed in the tropical forests of Central America and include a wide variety of climbing and epiphytic cacti with flat or ribbed stems bearing diurnal and/or nocturnal flowers. Representative taxa include Disocactus, Epiphyllum, Hylocereus, Selenicereus and Weberocereus. [see picture gallery]

Lithophyte A plant growing among stone or rock.

Pachycereeae A widely distributed and taxonomically complex group ranging from southwestern US, Mexico, Central America (including the Caribbean) to Venezuela. Large plants with columnar, ribbed stems. Flowers nocturnal and diurnal. Major genera include Acanthocereus, Bergerocactus, Carnegiea, Corryocactus, Echinocereus, Escontria, Pachycereus, Peniocereus, and Stenocereus. [see picture gallery]

Porophyte The host plant of the epiphytic species.

Rhipsalideae A tribe distributed in eastern South America (with the exception of Rhipsalis baccifera which is the only species in the Old World) and the epiphytic counterpart of the Hylocereeae. It includes epiphytes and lithophytes with pendulous or creeping growth habit but never climbing. The stems are varied, from round, segmented, angled to flat with small diurnal flowers. Main genera: Hatiora, Lepismium, Rhipsalis, Schlumbergera. [see picture gallery]

Strict-epiphyte Plant living only as epiphyte on the canopy of a host plant or porophyte.

Terrestrial A plant living/rooting on the ground.

Trichocereeae A typical South American tribe. The plants can be columnar or globose with ribbed stems. Flowers diurnal or nocturnal. Representative taxa include Acanthocalycium, Arthrocereus, Cleistocactus, Denmoza, Echinopsis, Espostoa, Harrisia, Lasiocereus, Mila, Matucana, Orocereus, Pygmaeocereus. [see picture gallery]

Vivipary The germination of seeds within the fruit prior to abscission from the maternal plant. Two main types of vivipary are known in vascular plants: true vivipary and pseudovivipary.