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Bryophyta

Introduction

Bryophyta (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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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