The liverwort genera (Bryophyta: Hepaticae and Anthocerotae) of Britain and Ireland

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Anthoceros L.

Gametophyte. Plants thalloid, not leafy (the thallus usually pale green with crisped margins, the epidermis with stomata). Anacrogynous (borne singly on the dorsal surface of the thallus).

The cells of the gametophyte each with a single, large chloroplast. The thallus variously, irregularly lobed; without a conspicuous conducting strand; without ventral scales; containing conspicuous cavities (these numerous, mucilage-filled or containing Nostoc colonies and visible dorsally as dark spots).

The plants bisexual (monoecious).

Sporophyte. The sporophyte elevated via an intercalary meristem. The capsule elongate-cylindrical; with a central, longitudinal columella; green; dehiscing via two valves. The spores dark brown or blackish, unicellular when shed. Elaters present; mostly bent, (1-)2-several celled (‘pseudo-elaters’); without spiral thickenings; free.

British representation. 2 species; England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

Classification. Class/Division Anthocerotae. Order Anthocerotales. Family Anthocerotaceae.

Illustrations. • A. agrestis (as crispulus): Jameson, in Macvicar (1926). • A. punctatus: Jameson, in Macvicar (1926). • A. punctatus: Pearson fig. CCXXVII (1902). • A. punctatus: Pearson fig. CCXXVII legend. • A. punctatus forma stableri (as A. stableri): Pearson fig. CCXXVIII (1902). • A. punctatus forma stableri (as A. stableri): Pearson fig. CCXXVIII legend.


To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2005 onwards. The liverwort genera (Bryophyta: Hepaticae and Anthocerotae) of Britain and Ireland. Version: 24th February 2016. delta-intkey.com’.

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