Liverworts – Division Marchantiophyta


(Division Marchantiophyta)

Life cycle

Mat-forming, annual spore-producing plants.

General description

Prostrate and spreading plants that often grow together to form thick mats on the surface of excessively moist soils. The foliage is not obviously differentiated into true leaves, stems or roots. Plants have rootlike rhizoids, which are not true roots but have similar functions. Small, round to crescent-shaped cups are formed on the foliage. These cups produce budlike structures that are dispersed by water to form new plants. Reproduction also occurs by spores released from palm-treelike structures. No true flowers or fruit are produced.


Thick, dull green, ribbonlike foliage with lobed to forked margins.


Vegetatively and by spores.

Liverwort plant
Liverwort foliage with cups
Liverwort foliage
Liverwort spore stalks

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