noun \ˈli-vər-ˌwərt, -ˌwrt\

Definition of LIVERWORT

:  any of a class (Hepaticae) of bryophytic plants characterized by a thalloid gametophyte or sometimes an upright leafy gametophyte that resembles a moss
:  hepatica

First Known Use of LIVERWORT

before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of more than 8,000 species of small, nonvascular, spore-producing land plants that make up the class Hepatopsida (or Hepaticae) of bryophytes, found worldwide but mostly in the tropics. Thallose liverworts commonly grow on moist soil or damp rocks; leafy liverworts are found in similar habitats and on tree trunks in damp woods. Sexual (gametophyte) and asexual (sporophyte) generations alternate in the life cycle (see alternation of generations). The thallus of thallose liverworts, resembling a lobed liver, gives liverworts their name. Though not economically important to humans, liverworts provide food for animals, facilitate the decay of logs, and aid in the disintegration of rocks by their ability to retain moisture.


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