Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness
Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department
of Natural Sciences
The Aytoniaceae are complex thalloid Liverworts. In this context, the word "complex" just means that the thallus is several cells thick. The word "thalloid" means that the organism is not differentiated into structures resembling leaves and stems as are the leafy liverworts. Liverworts have single celled rhizoids (rootlike structures) as opposed to the mosses which possess multicellular rhizoids. The structure of the pores and scale appendages are important in the determination of genus in the Aytoniaceae.
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