Plant Guide > Mosses and Lichens > Liverworts or Hepatics

Liverworts or Hepatics

Liverworts or HepaticsHEPATICAE

If the plants are green, growing flat and ribbon-like or as prostate stems with paired, veinless leaves and with fruits umbrella-like or cups which do not open by lids but split irregularly into symmetrical valves in order to permit their spores to escape, one may know them to be hepatics.

The beauty which mosses lend to the surfaces upon which they live is pretty generally conceded. One has but to recall the frequent reference which our poets make to them to feel that they have always appealed to the poetic eye.

Liverworts are as a rule found only in damp shady places, and it is not their habit to occupy very large areas of ground. With but few exceptions the plant lies close to the object upon which it grows holding to it by short hair-like cells (rhizoids).

Excepting the fruiting portion, the liverwort plant (the vegetative body) is either ribbon-like (thalloid), or a stem with scalelike leaves ( foliose); the greater number of liverworts are therefore distinguished as thalloid and foliose.

Genus Bazzania
Genus Frullania
Genus Marchantia
Genus Porella
Genus Ptilidium