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Liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) do not have true leaves, instead they have thalli (thallus in singular form).

Liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha)


Liverwort thalli form a dense mat over the container surface.  Thalli overlap each other, which sometimes resembles shingles on a roof.  

Liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha)


Liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) thalli



Liverwort thalli are covered with gemmae cups and pores, as seen below (you may need to click on the image to see a larger version).  

The pores are the very small holes (look like pin holes) all along the surface  of the thallus.  There are too many to count in the image below.

Gemmae cups are the large bowl-shaped objects.  Gemmae cups contain small asexual propagules that will splash when hit with irrigation or rain drops.  Sven Svenson (Oregon State University) determined that the propagules can splash up to a distance of 18 inches when hit with irrigation or rain water.  The small propagules will form another plant if it lands in a suitable environment.  This is one of the primary mechanisms by which liverwort spread.

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