bryophytes are green, leafy plants as opposed to the leafless and woody (when
dry) lichens, some species of which are popularly and erroneously known as
"reindeer moss" or "caribou moss".
Most MOSSES are characteristically plant-like in structure with stem, leaves and
fruit. Since they are cryptogams,
the "fruit" in this case is a sexually produced sporophyte containing
spores rather than seeds. Although
not always readily apparent, the leaves, which are usually more or less
symmetrical, grow spirally around the stem, or in a flat two-row arrangement.
LIVERWORTS, in most cases, have asymmetrical leaves arranged in flat ribbon-like
rows, often with a third row underneath. These
are called "leafy liverworts". Some species lie flat on the substratum without a stem or
separate leaves, and are known as "thalloid liverworts".
Sharing the same habitat, mosses and liverworts will often be found growing
together, the liverworts intertwining among the mosses, and at first seemingly
indistinguishable from them. With
experience however, their more flexible, almost gelatinous texture becomes an
instantly recognizable characteristic.