In most people’s minds, the term ‘parasite’ sounds as something very unpleasant and it must be acknowledged that even among flowering plants some of the most harmful weeds in the world in relation to agriculture and forestry are parasitic plants. However, in the Nordic countries parasitic plants cause no harm and that is also true for the majority of the about 4.500 species known worldwide. From another point of view, many parasitic plants exhibit flowers just as beautiful as those of orchids, and their nutrient uptake is as specialised as in carnivorous plants. Furthermore, they are as important elements in various ecosystems as any other organism. The present article focuses on parasitic plants in the five Nordic countries including the Faro Islands and Greenland.
This article in the category popular science is a refereed translation of the Danish version published in 2008 (abstract 60).
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See also the book ' Parasitic flowering plants'