: an individual or generation of a plant exhibiting alternation of generations that bears asexual spores, is usually not clearly differentiated in algae and fungi, and in vascular plants is the conspicuous form ordinarily seen—compare gametophyte
In many plants and algae, the nonsexual phase in the alternation of generations, or an individual representing the phase. The alternate, sexual phase is the gametophyte. In the sporophyte phase, a diploid (seeploidy) plant body grows and eventually produces spores through meiosis. These spores divide by mitosis to produce haploid gametophytes, which then can carry out sexual reproduction.