Sphaerocarpos texanus

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Sphaerocarpos texanus
Sphaerocarpos texanus.jpg
Female plants of Sphaerocarpos texanus bearing mature sporophytes.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Marchantiophyta
Class: Marchantiopsida
Order: Sphaerocarpales
Family: Sphaerocarpaceae
Genus: Sphaerocarpos
Species: S. texanus
Binomial name
Sphaerocarpos texanus

Sphaerocarpus berterii Aust., 1873
Sphaerocarpus californicus Aust., 1879
Sphaerocarpus europaeus Lorbeer, 1934
Sphaerocarpus terrestris Bisch., 1827

Sphaerocarpos texanus, the Texas balloonwort,[2] is a species of liverwort in the Sphaerocarpaceae family, found in the Americas, northern Africa and Europe.


Sphaerocarpos texanus are small, thalloid, dioecious liverworts.[3] The species is sexually dimorphic, with male plants usually 3–5 mm in diameter, females up to 12 mm in diameter.[4] Both male (bearing antheridia) and female (bearing archegonia) plants are bright green, with the thallus branching up to several times.[3] The plant is a winter annual, appearing in autumn and dying in spring.[4] Notably, the spores occur in sets of four, called tetrads. Unlike most other species of liverwort, the spores stay in these tetrads until they germinate.[3][4]


The plant is found on flat, lightly shaded soil. Usually by roadsides.[3]


Sphaerocarpos texanus has a wide range, probably the widest of any species in its genus. It has been found on several continents, in the United States, Uruguay, England, Germany, France and Morocco.[3]


  1. ^ Austin, C. F. (1877). "New Hepaticae". Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 8: 157–158. 
  2. ^ Edwards, Sean R. (2012). English Names for British Bryophytes. British Bryological Society Special Volume. 5 (4 ed.). Wootton, Northampton: British Bryological Society. ISBN 978-0-9561310-2-7. ISSN 0268-8034. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Sphaerocarpos hians sp. nov., with a revision of the genus and illustrations of the species". Bull. Torr. Bot. Club. 37,5: 215–230. 1910. 
  4. ^ a b c "Sex-specific germination response in the liverwort Sphaerocarpos texanus (Sphaerocarpaceae)". Bryologist. 104,1: 69–71. 2001. 

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