Bryophyte PLANTS: examples and characteristics - Summary!

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Have you ever heard of bryophytes? Perhaps you do not know what it is, it is not something that is usually talked about in any conversation or perhaps, on the contrary, you know how to relate it to a type of plant, bryophyte plants, but you do not know what it means that a plant be bryophyte.

In this Green Ecologist article we will talk about this group of plants, specifically we will explain what are bryophyte plants, with examples and their characteristics, so that when you finish reading you know something more about the plant world, about the natural world.

What are bryophyte plants - definition

Bryophyte plants are a group of plants lacking vascular vessels, that is, of the "complex" conduits through which water and minerals that serve as food for the plant are transported.

They are the group of non-vascular plants more important. Non-vascular, as we have explained in the previous paragraph, means that they do not have vascular vessels or complex transport channels and, therefore, cannot reach large dimensions, that is, all bryophyte plants are small, although they can spread over large areas. In addition, bryophytes are multicellular and chlorophilic, this means:

  • Multicellular: made up of more than one cell.
  • Chlorophilic: they contain the pigment called chlorophyll that gives it that green color and allows photosynthesis to be carried out.

In general, all bryophytes have green stems and leaves that can range from bright green to darker green, different shades can be seen. However, we can also appreciate bryophytes that even go as far as transparency.

Characteristics of bryophyte plants

In this section we will explain the environment in which bryophyte plants grow, their vegetative structure and the form of reproduction, in order to get closer to the world of non-vascular plants and to get to know the main characteristics of bryophyte plants:

  • The environment in which they develop is preferably humid. In fact, this is the ideal environment for them to grow and reproduce optimally, although in some cases they can also develop in dry terrain (but it is not common). They need humid environments, since they do not have roots as such and the way to obtain the water and minerals they need is by absorbing, like a sponge, the water that is in their environment. Generally, we will find them on a rocky surface, in the bark of trees, on plant roots or in damp soils.
  • The vegetative structure of bryophyte plants is very simple, its structure is quite homogeneous, since parts such as root, stem and leaves are not differentiated, as is the case with other plants.
  • Regarding the way of reproduction, bryophyte plants can reproduce in two ways.

Reproduction of bryophyte plants

  • Sexual reproduction: the plant originates the male gametes that will fertilize the female gamete. The union of both gametes will give rise to the sporophyte, which will germinate in new plants.
  • Asexual reproduction: In this form of reproduction, any part of the plant can give rise to a new one. The buds that we can find in these types of plants, when they come into contact with a suitable surface for their development, give rise to a plant identical to its parent.

Types of bryophytes

We can classify bryophytes in three large groups:


Mosses are usually found forming dense mantles, each plant has tiny structures with functions similar to those of the roots (subjection to the ground) and with an appearance similar to hairs, they are called rhizoids.

The presence of these bryophytes helps prevent erosion of the soil in which they are found, which is generally rocky. In addition, seeing these types of bryophyte plants in some area is synonymous with environmental quality.

To get to know these bryophyte plants better, you can read this other post about Mosses: what they are, characteristics and examples.

Liver bryophytes

Hepatic bryophyte plants are named for their appearance similar to the human liver. They develop in shady and cool areas, occupying large areas of land.

Here we explain much more about liver plants: what they are, characteristics and examples.


Anthoceropsids are very small plants with a simple structure. In fact, anthoceropsid bryophyte plants never exceed 3 cm in height.

In this link you will see more details about Anthoceros: what they are, characteristics and examples.

Examples of bryophyte plants

Bryophytes are classified into three types depending on their general characteristics, characteristics that have been explained in the previous section. But so that you know them a little more, here we leave you one list of examples of bryophyte plants according to their type:

  • Mosses: Polytrichum commune, Eriopus remotifolius, Schistostega pennata, Hylocomium splendens, Climacium dendroides, Grimmia pulvinata, Archidium alternifolium, Eurhynchiem oreganum, Dicranum scoparium.
  • Hepatic Bryophytes: Asterella ludwigii, Carrpos monocarpus, Conocephalum conicum, Mannia rupestris, Mannia siberica, Marchantia polymorpha, Neohodgosonia mirabilis, Ricciocarpus natans.
  • Anthoceropsid Bryophytes: Anthoceros adscendens, Anthoceros aethyopicus, Anthoceros affinis, Anthoceros agrestis, Anthoceros alpinus.

If you want to read more articles similar to Bryophyte plants: examples and characteristics, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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