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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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Honey mesquite respond as phreatophytes as they have widespread lateral root systems that are commonly found in areas with limiting ground water, whereas deep taproots are found where there is limited surface water (Cuomo et al.
Phreatophytes are deeply rooted plants that use groundwater to fulfill parts of their water needs (Thomas, 2014).
Loheide SP, Butler JJ, Gorelick SM (2005) Estimation of groundwater consumption by phreatophytes using diurnal water table fluctuations: a saturated-unsaturated flow assessment.
phreatophytes within a National Forest." (187) The answer to the
From an ecological point of view, Tamarix species are phreatophytes, which form dense groves growing in ravines, river banks and also in saline soils, mostly located in arid and semi-arid zones.
They suggested that 'blue oaks should be considered obligate phreatophytes,' that is, water-loving plants similar to, for example, riverbank willows.
Water uptake in woody riparian phreatophytes of the Southwestern United States: A Stable Isotope Study.
The water table allows perennial vegetation to grow, sometimes even with trees, since many desert trees are phreatophytes, meaning they grow precisely where the water table is accessible to their deep root systems.
Stomatal conductance patterns and environment in high elevation phreatophytes of Wyoming.
Tamarix has been described as possessing inherently low water use efficiency (Anderson 1982), a characterization that has also been applied to aridland phreatophytes in general (Smith and Nobel 1986).