The thallophytes are a polyphyletic group of non-mobile organisms traditionally described as "relatively simple plants" or "lower plants" with undifferentiated bodies (thalli). They were a defunct division of Kingdom Plantae, the Thallophyta (or Thallobionta) that included fungus and algae, and lichens occasionally bacteria and the Myxomycota.They have a hidden reproductive system and hence they are also called cryptogamae.
They are sometimes referred to as "thalloid plants", as opposed to vascular plants. Stephan Ladislaus Endlicher, a 19th-century Austrian botanist, separated the Vegetable Kingdom (equivalent of Kingdom Plantae) into the Thallophytes and the Cormophytes (vascular plants) in 1836. Thallophytes were known as the Thallogens according to John Lindley, an English botanist in the nineteenth century. Likewise, Cormophytes were also known as Cormogens in the Lindley system.
The term was used only in former classifications, comprising what is now considered a heterogeneous assemblage of flowerless and seedless organisms: algae, bacteria, fungi and lichens.
See also