Characteristics of Bryophytes

Bryophytes (Bryon=a mass; phytol)

Bryophytes are defined as multicellular, eukaryotic, a achlorophyllous, non-vascular plants having cell wall made of cellulose and their zygotes develop into an embryo

General characteristics of bryophytes 


They occur in damp shady places.

Simplest land plants

Bryophytes are the simplest land plants.

Thalloid bodies Bryophytes

They have thalloid bodies which are not differentiated into true root, stem and leaves.


Instead of roots, they have unicellular hair like structure called rhizoids


Some Bryophytes have pseudo stem (not true stem)


Some Bryophytes have pseudo leaves

Vascular bundles

They do not have vascular bundles


They are needing Amphibians water for sexual reproduction because their male gametes are flagellated and motile.


They reproduce sexually as well as asexually.

Alternation of generation (life cycle)

Saprophytes show metamorphic alternation of generation. Its life cycle consists of two types of generation which alternation with each other.

  • Gametophyte generation
  • Sporophyte generation

Gametophyte generation

The gametophyte generation reproduce sexually by producing male and female gametes, these two fuse to form zygote, which develops into embryo. This gives rise to sporophyte.

Sporophyte generation

Spores are produced in sporophyte after meiosis. Each spore germinates into a gametophyte

Groups of bryophytes

Bryophytes are classified into three groups

Hepatica (liverworts)


Merchant have dichotomously branched dorsoventrally thalloid structure

Music (mosses)

Fun aria having rhizoids pseudo stem and leaves.

Anthocerotae (hornworts)


Anthoceros having horn like capsules.












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