(brĪˈəfĪˌtə, brĪˌəfĪˈtə) [key
], division of green land plants that includes the mosses
(class Bryopsida), the liverworts
(Marchantiopsida), and the hornworts (Anthocerotopsida). The liverworts and hornworts are generally inconspicuous plants; common liverworts include species of the genera Porella
and Marchantia. Anthoceros
is the most familiar temperate-zone hornwort genus. Bryophytes differ from ferns, cone-bearing plants, and flowering plants in that they lack a vascular system for the transportation of water. Since their cells must absorb water directly from the air or the ground, nearly all bryophytes grow in moist places.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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