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A plant, often with deep roots, that is mostly or entirely dependent on water from a permanent ground supply.

[Greek phrear, phreat-, well, spring; see phreatic + -phyte.]

phre·at′o·phyt′ic (-fĭt′ĭk) adj.


(Botany) botany a plant having very long roots that reach down to the water table or the layer above it
[C20: from Greek phrear a well + -phyte]
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Comparison of phreatophyte communities on the Rio Grande in New Mexico.
In addition to this total, roughly half a million acre-feet were lost due to phreatophyte and operational inefficiency losses.
The species can thus be designated a local phreatophyte (Londo, 1988).
The development and perpetuation of the permanent tamarisk type in the phreatophyte zone of the southwest.
Eligible technologies are: solar, hydropower, geothermal, fuel cells that are not fossil-fueled, landfill gas and anaerobically digested waste biomass, and biomass - including fuels such as agricultural and animal waste, small diameter timber, salt cedar and other phreatophyte or woody vegetation removed from watersheds or river basins in New Mexico.
Indirect evidence of a phreatophyte intercepting rising capillary water and thereby affecting higher soils comes from Kushiev (2005), who reported that plantings of the Eurasian G.
Groundwater discharge by phreatophyte shrubs in the Great Basin related to depth to groundwater.
They suggested that 'blue oaks should be considered obligate phreatophytes,' that is, water-loving plants similar to, for example, riverbank willows.