Plants
The Deadly Embrace
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One of the strangest of plants is the strangler fig. It begins its life on the upper branches of a tree—any large tree—when a seed of its species, dropped by a bird or squirrel or some other animal, starts germinating. The seedling sends out roots that penetrate and feed on the trunk and branches of the host. As the plant grows, the roots become longer and encircle the tree.
The parasitic guest is no more than a nuisance at this stage but when it starts sending down roots to the soil to begin an independent existence, it is the beginning of the end for the host. The roots absorb nutrition from the ground and the plant becomes stronger and sends down still more roots.

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The roots snaking down from the young tree become thick and strong and eventually hold the host in a death embrace, not permitting its trunk to expand and taking all the available nutrients from the soil.
Slowly over decades, the original tree dies and decays and the strangler fig gets the place for itself. Many strangler figs grow to a very large size thereafter.



User's Comments                     
jason
This plant sounds like my older brother, stangling every last drop of resources from you then killing you. Now I know that plants are like us in every way. Just trying to survive... I have more sympathy for the plant
S.Kumar
I am trying to find the English/Latin name for a plant called "Thettie" (keralean name). It has tiny orange flowers in clusters and is used for temples and home prayer vases. Please can you help?
elhaam
Sounds deadly indeed!!!
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