12-08-13 Symbiosis

2013 12-08 Symbiosis by Watertown, South Dakota, photographer Scott Shephard

Deb and I took a hike through a nature area on our visit to St. John in the US Virgin Islands this past June. I spent quite a bit of time photographing the plants that grew on plants here, much like this air plant is growing on the side of a small tree, which is also host to a vine that is curling upward. Are these plants friendly and helpful to each other? And is that what symbiosis means? Or are we seeing evidence of parasitism?

And are these questions really necessary if, like me, all that is striking about this place are the rich green hues and filtered light in a shaded forest?

Canon 5DIII 1/60s f/4.5 ISO640 60mm

For those who might be interested in seeing a more mundane but much more “unnatural” place for one of these to grow, check out this photo, which I took on a walk in Charlotte Amalie in the BVI:

Air Plant (?)

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3 thoughts

  1. I think it is an orchid, only because I have seen them at orchid shows/sales. They are generally sold attach to a small piece of wood.

    • I think symbiosis, your first conclusion, is the correct one. Theses air plants are bromeliad (not orchids, I googled it), and in the same family as orchids.

      • After your first response, I checked, too. They are clearly orchid-like. But orchids need more moisture to do their thing. And I agree – symbiosis. They are living “with” each other. And it would appear that neither the plant or the vine are killing they tree in their own, selfish effort to survive. 🙂

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