There is just one family of Hornworts which form the
smallest group of
Bryophytes. Hornworts have a flattened creeping
thallus in which the sex
organs are embedded and each fertilised egg can grow
into a sporophyte
plant. Unlike the Moss sporophyte, the Hornwort's
spore-producing body is
not always entirely dependent on the mother plant but
can exist on its own.
The picture shows a section through the foot of this
independence-seeker. This could have been an
evolutionary step towards the
ferns in which the main plant is a free-living
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