Parasitic plants continue to gain research attention due to their remarkable lifestyle pattern that clearly cites them as a typical example of a biological oddity. They have defiled the basic characteristics of plants to become dependent on other plants for existence. Aside from their unique heterotrophic mode of feeding, host range and preference, seed germination clues, distribution patterns vary across different parasitic plants, which has partly ensured their presence in virtually every plant community. Among the above-listed factors, host range and preference, in particular, appears to be a major significant factor that shapes their distribution around the world, enabling certain species to thrive in various microclimates. The Nigerian environment has heterogeneous vegetation, traversing mangroves, rainforest, savannah vegetation, and its home to host parasitic plant species, including endemic, natives, and exotic ones. The present chapter gathered and synthesized available information regarding parasitic plants in Nigeria, particularly their biology and the host species supporting their population. Aside from the devastating menace some parasitic plants are known for, this report recognizes their ethnobotanical relevance. Thereby stimulating research interest in these highly specialized plant groups.
Part of the book: Parasitic Plants