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Marchantia polymorpha
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Marchantiophyta
Class: Marchantiopsida
Order: Marchantiales
Family: Marchantiaceae
Genus: Marchantia
L., 1753

See text.

Marchantia is a genus in the family Marchantiaceae of the order Marchantiales, a group of liverworts.

These are simple plants without roots or vascular systems. They were once considered related to mosses and part of division Bryophyta, but more recently have been assigned their own plant division, Marchantiophyta.

The Marchantia thallus shows differentiation into two layers: an upper photosynthetic or assimilatory region and a lower storage region with a well-defined upper epidermis with air channels (barrel-shaped). The thallus features tiny cup-like structures called gemma cups, which are used for asexual reproduction.

Multicellular purple colored scales and unicellular rhizoids are present on the ventral surface of the thallus. Antheridia and archegonia are present on special erect gametophores called antheridiophores and archegoniophores, respectively. These are borne on separate thalli; hence, the plants are dioicous.


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