Liverworts are a flowerless, spore-producing plants which produce spores in small capsules. They take two very different forms:

  • Leafy - these look like mosses and look leafy but have leaves arranged in two or three rows unlike mosses which have spirally arranged leaves.
  • Thalloid - these have a flat body (thallus) with no stems or leaves.
Did you know?

The English word 'wort' means "small plant" as in sneezewort and mugwort. The word 'liverwort' was used because early herbalists thought one species of liverwort resembled a human liver and some species were used to treat liver ailments.  

Further reading

NZ Plant Conservation Network - Liverwort pages

This page last updated on 7 Mar 2014