A parasitic plant is one that derives some or all of its nutritional requirements from another living plant. All parasitic plants have special organs, named haustoria (singular: haustorium), which connect them to the conductive system of their host and provide them with the ability to extract water and nutrient from the hosts. About 4,100 species in approximately 19 families of flowering plants are known. Parasitic plants have a modified root, the haustorium, that penetrates the host plant and connects to the xylem, phloem, or both.
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