Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Aliens are Still Here!

This weird, alien looking plant is a common liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha). It caught my attention whilst weeding my lawn - it's small and prostrate, so is easily overlooked. Not only does it have a beautiful, variegated color pattern, but it has a raised texture and some round structures, called gemmae cups, on its surface. These cups apparently allow the plant to reproduce asexually. (This is all new to me).

It's a good plant for rehabilitating disturbed areas and likes moist soils. It has a global distribution and also happens to be one of the oldest terrestrial plants we know.

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