Sphaerocarpos texanus

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Sphaerocarpos texanus
Sphaerocarpos texanus.jpg
Female plants of Sphaerocarpos texanus bearing mature sporophytes.
Scientific classification
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. Torrey 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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