Vascular plant saprophytes have no chlorophyll but derive organic nutrients from decaying plant material and through fungal threads connected to nearby tree roots. In this respect they are really fungal parasites, also known as myco-heterotrophs. All New Zealand vascular saprophytes are species of orchid except for Thismia rodwayi.
New Zealand vascular plant saprophytes are:
Thismia rodwayi (left by John Smith-Dodsworth) at Ketetahi, Tongariro National Park and Gastrodia cunninghamii (right, by Jeremy Rolfe) at Butterfly Creek, Eastbourne. For more information about saprophytes see*:
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This page last updated on 23 Sep 2012