Living off the neighbours

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By attaching themselves to other plants via a specialised 'sucking root' called the haustorium, parasitic plants absorb water and nutrients from their host plants by penetrating the vascular tissues of their host. Most plant specimens are preserved by spreading and drying them on newsprint (often using a plant press). Once dry, the specimens are mounted on white paper and labeled with locality data. In some cases, three-dimensional structure are preserved by drying without the use of a plant press. You can use the gallery web to compare the morphology of herbarium specimens with photos of the living plant.