Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Coastal BC Plants: Marchantia Liverwort

Marchantia Liverwort

Liverworts are part of the family of non-vascular plants called bryophytes that includes mosses, hornworts and liverworts. Non-vascular means they do not have specialized structures for the transport of water.

Marchantia Liverwort is a common thalloid form.  It grows on hard surfaces, clinging with rhyzoids. Liverworts live in moist areas. This specimen is growing on a sheltered moist log at the water level on my garden float.

Marchantia Liverwort with male antheridiophore reproductive structures.
Liverworts go through a complicated reproductive cycle. In my picture you can see the male antheridiophore. Missing is the female archegonium. If you look closely, you can see the small circular gemma cups in which asexual reproduction can occur.

Bryophytes are the oldest living land plants and are believed to be a link that allowed prehistoric water plants to move onto the earth's surface. Today there are more than 20,000 species of bryophytes. Of those, about 7,000 are Liverworts. That's a lot of opportunity for worldwide colonization. -- Margy

3 comments:

  1. Interesting info on this plant life.

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  2. Thanks Stephanie. I have lots of it covering my floating garden it makes a green carpet on the cedar logs.

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  3. Very interesting plants, and nice pictures!

    SamuraiFrog, ABCW

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