Liverworts

Mary Barkworth stipoid at CC.USU.EDU
Sat Aug 24 16:35:39 EST 1996


This summer it came to my attention that some introductory biology texts
treat Marchantia as representative of all liverworts; some fail to even
mention that there are other genera.  Given that most liverworts are
"leafy", this seems absurd - and reprehensible.  It is as if a grass or
sedge were used as the basis for describing flowering plants.  At AIBS I
mentioned my disgust to a few publishers of such books, all of whom politely
said that they would take the matter up with their authors.  Botany books
are more likely, but not guaranteed, to mention, occasionally even portray,
a representative of the leafy liwerworts.

A colleague explained that Marchantia is large and easy to grow.  I agree it
is large overall, but the sporophyte itself is very small and the
morphological likeness of Marchantia to mosses is, at best obscure.  

Question;  Does anyone know how to cultivate leafy liverworts, any leafy
liverwort, in a greenhouse?  It would, of course, be highly desirable if it
were known how to induce production of the sporophyte (other than making
sure that both sexes are present and growing in proximity to each other.



Mary Barkworth
Intermountain Herbarium
Utah State University
Logan, Utah 84322-5305




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