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symbiotic plants examples

The process of symbiosis or symbiotic relationship in plants is when two plants live together in close harmony. Some organisms live together and share nutrients, shelter, water, and food, and this kind of mutually dependent living is called symbiosis. Plants that participate in symbiosis are called symbiotic plants. One such example of a symbiotic plant is lichen in which algae and fungi live together.

The word “symbiosis” comes from the Greek language for “living” and “with” describing a relationship between two organisms or species that benefit from each other. There are 4 types of symbiosis,

  • Ectosymbiosis/ endosymbiosis
  • Commensalism
  • Parasitism
  • Mutualism

Definition of Commensalism: Type of Symbiosis

Commensalism is the symbiotic relationship in plants where one organism benefits from the mutual relation between two organisms while the other organism is neither harmed nor benefits from it. Such an organism would be a spider making its web on a tree. It does not harm or benefit the tree but it helps the spider form its home.

Definition of Parasitism: Type of Symbiosis

Definition of Parasitism - Type of Symbiosis

Parasitism is when one organism benefits from its mutual relationship at the stake of the other organism. An example would be an aphid feeding off the sap of a plant which harms the plant but benefits the aphid.

What is Mutualism in Symbiosis?

What is Mutualism in Symbiosis

Mutualism is the best symbiotic relationship in the plant world as it benefits both plants immensely. In the human world, a mutualistic relationship is a relation between a human and a pet. The pet offers companionship while the human provides food.

What is Endosymbiosis/Ectosymbiosis symbiotic relationship?

Endosymbiosis or ectosymbiosis is the symbiotic relationship between organisms that live inside another organism such as lice on your skin.

Here Are Some Examples of Symbiotic Plants!

Looking forward to greening up your space? Choosing symbiotic plants will be the best way as they’ll live hand in hand and enhance your gardening experience. It is beneficial if one provides support to the other and even more so if they work together. Well, here we have uncovered some examples of beneficial symbiotic plants that you can include in your garden.

1. Foxgloves


If you want your green babies to grow up strong and big, with minimal risks of succumbing to any kind of disease, then foxgloves are for you. Foxglove is an example of a symbiotic plant that makes the surrounding plants stronger and reduces any risks of diseases.

2. Marigolds


Marigolds are essential for your garden in several ways as they not only add a tinge of beauty to your garden but also help other plants in their surroundings. This symbiotic plant produces a scent that attracts hoverflies. Why is it important? Hoverflies feed off greenflies, plant lice, and twitch grass. These are organisms that destroy your plants. The roost of marigolds helps in keeping eelworms away. If you are growing tomatoes or roses, consider planting marigolds beside them.

3. Rosemary


Rosemary, the delicious herb, is the commonly found ingredient in meals and works wonders for your vegetable garden. Grow it near your carrots, cabbage, and sage and you’ll see your plants are safe from flies, beetles, and cabbage moths. It also helps broccoli to thrive well all the while enhancing the flavors of all your vegetables. However, its bond with potatoes is a bit stormy so better to keep them apart.

4. Orange Nasturtium

Orange Nasturtium

If you grow beans, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, or cabbage, then you will value planting orange nasturtium. This is a plant with orange petals that attracts all those insects that will destroy all your vegetables. While whitefly and plant lice are feasting on the nasturtium, they leave your delicious veggies alone.

5. Lavender


Nothing is more pleasing than the scent of lavender filling your nostrils as you enter your garden. While the smell is just one of the reasons to keep lavender as one of your green babies, there are tons of advantages to it. It acts as a border against insects and repels them away from all your vulnerable plants.

6. Tomatoes


Tomatoes are quite a tricky vegetable to grow in colder climates but it is a faithful symbiotic friend to your other vegetables. Carrots, onion, parsley, celery, asparagus, and basil all love being planted near tomatoes as it ensures that they thrive well.

7. Parsley

symbiotic plants

Parsley, known scientifically as Petroselinum crispum, is a robust herb that belongs to the carrot family, often referred to as the parsley family (Apiaceae). It originally hails from the Mediterranean region. This herb is unique as it follows a two-year growth cycle – the first year is dedicated to vegetative growth, followed by overwintering, and then blossoming in the second year. Parsley’s seedlings are quite small and fragile, making them struggle to emerge from compacted soils. Notably, it has a history of traditional use for easing menstrual discomfort and was even employed as an herbal remedy for inducing abortions, possibly possessing anti-inflammatory qualities.

8. Cabbage

Symbiotic Plants: Examples With Names 2

Cabbage, known scientifically as Brassica oleracea, is a versatile plant that’s been cultivated over time to produce various agricultural varieties like kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. These veggies are not only low in calories but also packed with vitamin C. Among these, head cabbage, often just called “cabbage,” is a common and popular choice for dining tables in many temperate countries. It’s a nutritious and delicious vegetable that belongs to the mustard family.

Symbiotic Plants Examples Final Conclusion

The best symbiotic plants examples with names have been curated on this page and its way easier than you can imagine coming across these. There are scores of symbiotic relationships among herbs, flowers, and vegetables out there.

Next time you decide to prepare your garden for the changing season, take a quick look at your planting plan. Your green babies can thrive better than they otherwise could with help from a symbiotic relationship in plants.

Symbiotic Plants Examples FAQs:

1. What are some examples of symbiotic plants?

Here are a few examples of symbiotic plants.

  • Foxgloves
  • Tomatoes
  • Orange Nasturtium
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Marigold
  • Orchids
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Cilantro
  • Collard greens
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Mint
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • 2. Is a mushroom a symbiotic plant?

    Mushrooms absorb minerals and water for the tree while the tree gives nutrients to the mushrooms. Since both the organisms benefit from each other, their relationship is considered a symbiotic relationship.

    3. What symbiosis is a tree?

    Trees usually form mycorrhizae which literally means “fungus root”. It describes the relationship between fungus and trees. The mycorrhizal fungi consist of many branching threads that are called mycelium. These threads grow out from the root tips of the trees and then connect with the roots of other plants and trees to form a mycorrhizal network.

    4. What are different types of symbiotic relationships?

    There are 5 main types of symbiotic relationships such as,

  • Competition
  • Parasitism
  • Predation
  • Commensalism
  • Mutualism
  • 5. Are humans symbiotic?

    Yes, humans live in a variety of symbiotic relationships with several plants and domesticated animals. These cultural symbioses are mutualistic at varying degrees with both the species and humans equally benefiting. Even keeping pets is considered a form of mutualism.

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