Orchids get various benefits from living in a tree.
The tree and the orchid have what’s known as a symbiotic relationship. This means that either the tree or the orchids or both benefit from the relationship.
Multiple kinds of symbiotic relationships exist.
For the orchid and the tree, their relationship falls under the commensalism category, meaning that the orchid benefits but the tree doesn’t benefit yet is also not harmed either.
What benefit does the orchid get from the tree?
Orchids are epiphytes and this means that they grow on other plants. The main benefit that the orchid receives from the tree is nutrition. Orchids take nitrogen, water, and minerals from the host tree. They do this by getting all of this from decaying organic matter on the host tree. The tree also protects the orchids.
The Orchids Get Nutrition from the Host Tree
As previously mentioned, the primary benefit of the orchid-tree symbiotic relationship is the fact that the orchids receive nutrition from the tree.
The orchids also receive nutrients from the air near the tree, too.
The Orchids Can’t Be Walked on Because They Are On the Tree
Another benefit the orchid enjoys thanks to the tree is protection and this is part of answering what benefit does the orchid get from the tree.
Orchids can die in a number of different ways and one of these ways is if something that lives on the ground tramples them.
However, the orchids are away from the ground and safe thanks to growing on the trees.
Nothing that lives on the ground can step on them thanks to the trees.
The Tree Protects the Orchids from Getting Eaten
One more way that edible plants like orchids can die is that something that lives on the ground eats them.
However, the tree prevents this from happening, since many animals that live on the ground cannot reach the orchids up on the tree.
Of course, if an animal can climb up into the tree, then the orchids are not safe.
Many animals that live on the ground cannot climb up to the orchids, though, so this benefit is still significant.
The Tree Allows the Orchids to Get More Sunlight
The orchids also benefit from the tree in that they can get more sunlight due to being up in the forest’s canopy with the tree.
Sunlight is essential for all plants, including orchids.
This means that orchids can grow more easily thanks to this greater amount of sunlight.
The Tree Helps the Orchids Pollinate
Like many other types of plants, orchids are spread by pollination. The fact that the orchids grow on the tree makes them more visible to pollinators.
As a result, orchids can pollinate more easily thanks to the trees. The tree also helps the orchids pollinate in that they often grow closely together so the orchids can grow from tree to tree.
However, orchids can pollinate more easily thanks to the tree in other ways.
The fact that the tree is higher in the air means that it is often affected more by air currents.
This means that the seeds of the orchids, which are quite small, can travel more easily.
If the orchids were closer to the ground, their seeds might not travel as far and as easily, meaning that pollination would be more difficult as a result.
The Tree’s Branches Can Protect the Orchid from Natural Disasters
The orchid lives on the branches of the tree. This means that it is safe from any sort of natural disaster that only affects living things that live on the ground.
This can take the form of a smaller fire or some type of minor flood.
No matter what, if it does not reach the branches of the orchid, it is often safe.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Benefit Does The Orchid Get From The Tree
What is the biggest benefit of orchids living on tree branches?
Answering this can be a little difficult since it is somewhat subjective. However, I would say that the biggest benefit of orchids living on tree branches is the nutrition they receive from the tree. Other benefits that the orchids receive, such as protection from ground-dwelling predators and better pollination, are also important, however.
Do the orchids harm the tree by living on it?
The orchids do not harm the tree by living on it. The relationship between the orchids and the tree is a form of commensalism, as previously mentioned. This means that the orchids benefit from living on the tree but the tree is not affected positively or negatively.
Are the orchids parasitic plants?
Oftentimes, when I think about a plant growing on another plant, I would think of some type of parasitic plant. One example of a parasitic plant is the corpse flower. However, orchids are not parasites because they only take nutrients from decaying organic matter on the tree and do not harm the tree in any way.
As you can see, orchids benefit from living on the branches of trees in a number of different ways.
They receive nutrition from the tree, stay safe from getting trampled or eaten by anything that lives on the ground, and they also are able to pollinate more easily thanks to the tree’s elevation.
Thankfully for the tree, the orchids enjoy all of these benefits without harming the tree in any way.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.