Bazzania trilobata

Thank you to BlueRidgeKitties@Flickr for sharing these two photos (photo 1 | photo 2) via the Flickr Pool. These images of Bazzania trilobata were made near Linville Falls in North Carolina.

Liverworts can be broadly separated into two distinct artificial groups: leafy and thalloid. Bazzania trilobata is an example of a leafy liverwort. Though they look like mosses and have a similar life cycle, leafy liverworts have important morphological differences that set them apart. For example, liverwort leaves are often in two lateral ranks with a third row of smaller leaves on the back of the stem, while moss leaves have a spiral arrangement (Vitt et al’s Mosses, Lichens & Ferns of Northwest North America (1988)).

Bazzania trilobata grows in “large clumps or dense widespread mats on boggy soils, forest ground, rotten logs, and at the bases of trees especially in cedar swamps and hemlock or boreal forests”. It is difficult to track down a precise distribution for the species, but it has been observed in northern temperate forests at a minimum. Generally, Bazzania species are more typical of tropical environments, though they grow in a wide range of climatic conditions, only excluding deserts and the poles (Schofield’s Field Guide to Liverwort Genera of Pacific Northwest America (2002)).

The leaf orientation of Bazzania trilobata is worth noting, as it is the opposite of most liverworts. As seen in the close-up photo, the upper edges of this species’ leaves overlap the lower edges of the leaves above them. This is described as an incubous leaf arrangement. The majority of leafy liverworts have the opposite arrangement, succubous, where the lower edges of the leaves overlap the upper edges of the leaves below them.

Bazzania trilobata
Bazzania trilobata

11 responses to “Bazzania trilobata”

  1. Melissa in South Carolina

    It took me quite a while to realize these weren’t worms or caterpillars, but in fact Plants. And I’ve even been to Linville Falls in North Carolina — just never noticed the liverworts. Next time.

  2. Annie in Texas

    The look like green sequins sewn across the ground. Very pretty.

  3. lynda

    Daniel, I am not a botanist but I used to enjoy so much the old format of exquisite photographs and brief write up. Now the site is mostly self-advertising and the photos are much less interesting or beautiful. I’ve tried to stay with your new look but find it no longer holds much interest for me. Please unsubscribe me. Thanks you for your previous beautiful shots of nature.

  4. Lynne

    I do not understand Lynda’s comment about the site being mostly self-advertising. That has not been my impression at all. If she is talking about your occasional forays into describing personal experiences with the botanical growth in question, then I will speak up for the other side by saying I really enjoy those personal observations, as well as the longer writeups, as they make the plant that much more interesting and memorable.

  5. Irma in Sweden

    I am totally agree with Lynne on this. To be able to see and learn about the almost unbelievable variation in nature in this way is so good. I find it a very good balance between pretty and just enough science to make me learn something interesting every day. The links provided give me an opportunity to explore further afield if I want to in a spcific subject. Keep up the good work!

  6. Wendy Cutler

    I just picked one month at random from the archives to see if it had a very different sort of collection – October, 2005. That was six months after the start of POTD, and the month didn’t seem very different from the recent month’s photos. There was even one entry ( Biarum tenuifolium )that began “I know this isn’t the most impressive plant visually”. By contrast, these wormy things today were pretty impressive, and the photos great, as is generally the case with BlueRidgeKitties’s photos. And the write-up was interesting, as usual.

  7. Diana Ferguson

    Marvelous – please continue with your comments, pictures, observations, knowledge, ability to share information. These pictures are so beautiful.

  8. elizabeth a airhart

    the page is fine the pictures and closeups keep getting better
    daniel and company are one of the best and have led us on to
    many fine adventures and all the links. lots of garden blogs are
    out there and other newsletters out there lynda even you tube
    interesting plant closeups from cal gives one an eye opening treat
    thank you daniel many other botanical gardens have new pages
    or will have them- take care- bonjour

  9. Daniel Mosquin

    I’m fairly certain that Lynda has shared her comments with me via email previously. To clarify what she meant by advertising, she has concerns with the large banner across the top as well as all of the University of British Columbia Common Look and Feel (CLF) elements.
    Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about the UBC CLF items. We’re a part of the University of British Columbia, and when the opportunity came up to be internally funded to redo the out-of-date web site, we had to take it — but part of that required us to be consistent with how the University of British Columbia wishes to present itself.
    As for photo quality, I can’t comment on how people subjectively feel about that. If one clicks through on the image itself, one can often zoom into the images now, so in a sense, the quality has gone up.
    Re: unsubscribing — that is, as always, available through the email notifications.

  10. Wendy Cutler

    Re: the zooming into the images, I wasn’t aware of that, or of their behaving like the images in the forum. The one today is just the same size as in the posting. But I see that on a PC, on the photo in the posting, I can click Ctrl and scroll the mouse wheel away to make the image larger.

  11. tajalli

    With the new global header format for the UBC that BPoD has adopted, I’ve just learned to quickly resize my page and move along to the good stuff that is freely and generously offered with so much obvious thought and care. My own mood and attitude seems to influence my appreciation of the offerings much more than any fluctuations inherent in the material, so I look to myself when my interest temporarily flags. It took me a while to figure out the zooming function, which is a truly amazing augmentation for appreciating the almost cellular level look gained with high resolution photography, the light in the fine details is exquisite. With all gratitude to you.

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