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- n. Plural form of phreatophyte.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Mesquite trees are often phreatophytes (plants with their roots in the water table), but some species can also grow as stunted shrubs on drier sites where ground water is beyond their reach.
The phreatophytes are frequently deep-rooted hardy plants which rapidly recover after cutting unless all roots are removed, a very difficult operation in most circumstances.
Furthermore, in conditions where watertable is relatively high throughout the year, annual un-watering of canals will not materially assist in control of canal-side phreatophytes.
The offending vegetation may be rooted in the canal bed, floating, or it may be canal-side phreatophytes.
A related practice which has been developed on a pilot scale, in secondary drains, amounts to organic control of phreatophytes, particularly a variety of bull-rushes (typha) which is particularly troublesome in many area.
Due to their high transpiration rates in arid zones, the phreatophytes can "pump out" a small stream or lower the level of a well.