UPDATED 20/12/2019

♀︎ - Venus symbol - Female

♂ - Mars symbol - Male

ABAXIAL The dorsal side of a leaf (i.e. underside), the side away from the stem when the leaf if folded upwards against the stem

ACROCARPUS    Mosses in which the gametophyte usually produces sporophytes at the apex of stems or main branches with further vegetative growth continued by lateral branch (es) or  innovation(s). Acropcarpus mosses usually form turfs or cushions or occur as scattered individuals​

ADAXIAL   The ventral side (i.e. upper side), the side facing the stem when the leaf is folded upwards.

ANNULUS  Ring(s) of cells at the mouth of a capsule associated with the dehiscence of the lid


ANTHERIDIUM/ANTHERIDIA   Male gametangium, structure containing male gametes, ± spherical in the Sphagnoipsida, fusiform to cylindrical in other mosses

ANTHOCEROTYPHA   Hornworts are a group of non-vascular plants constituting the division

APICES   Plural form of apex

ARCHEGONIUM   The female sex organ in mosses, liverworts, ferns, and most conifers

BINOMIAL The binomial naming system is the system used in Taxonomy to name species.  Each species is given a name that consists of two parts. The first part is the Genus to which the species belongs and the second part is the species name.

For example, Polytrichum (Genus) +  juniperinum (Species) Juniper Haircap (Common Name).

BRYOPHYTA  The Taxonomical Division representing Mosses

BRYOPHYTE/S   Mosses are commonly referred to as Bryophytes or a Bryophyte. The term "bryophyte" comes from Greek βρύον, bryon "tree-moss, oyster-green" and φυτόν, phyton "plant.

BULBIL  Bulb-like vegetative propagule often with apical and sometimes lateral projections or 'leaf primordia'

​CALYPTRA/CALYPTRAE  Structure developed from the venter of the archegonium covering a developing capsule and at least the lid of older capsules, falling or not as the capsule matures

​CAP  Cover or lid below the Annulus of a Sporophyte which retains and protects the developing spores

CAPSULE  The spore-bearing structure or sporangium of the moss sporophyte

CARPET  An extensive colony of bryophyte gametophytes  growing over a wide flat area

CAULID  The main stem

CLASS  A taxonomic rank below Phylum and above Order

​COSTA  Midrib or nerve of leaf, always more than one cell thick

CUSHION  Hemispherical life-form in which shoots radiate from a central point

DECIDUOUS  Falling, being lost at maturity


DEHISC  The natural bursting open at maturity of a fruit or other reproductive body to release seeds or spores

DEUTERS  Deuter cell: guide cell; large cell with thin walls and large lamina

DIOICOUS  A term used by some authorities for dioicous but considered inappropriate for the situation in haploid gametophytes as it applies only to sporophytic or diploid sexuality

DIPLOID  Having two sets of chromasomes

DOMAIN  Is a taxonomic category above the kingdom level

ENDOGENOUS  Growing or originating from within an organism

EXCURRENT  Of costae, projecting beyond the end of the lamina or leaf tip

EXOGENUS  Growing or originating from outside an organism

FAMILY  Is one of the eight major hierarchical taxonomic ranks in Linnaean taxonomy falling below Order and above Genus

FRAGMENTATION  Asexual reproduction resulting from a fragment of a bryophyte breaking away and becoming a propagule

GAMETES  A mature haploid male or female germ cell which is able to unite with another of the opposite sex in sexual reproduction to form a zygote​

GAMETOPHYTE  The haploid sexual phase of the moss life-cycle, the leafy plant

GEMMA/GEMMAE  Vegetative propagule, brood body, borne on various parts of the gametophyte plant

GENUS  A genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family


GUIDE CELLS  The large, elongate, thin-walled cells in the Costa (nerve) of many mosses

HAPLOID  Having a single set of chromosomes

HYDRATION  The process of replacing water in the Gametophyte of a Moss, Liverwort or Hornwort

HYDROID  A type of vascular (conductive) cell that occurs in certain bryophytes

HYDROME  The collective name for groups of Hydroids

KINGDOM  The second highest taxonomic rank, just below domain. Kingdoms are divided into smaller groups called phyla

MARCHANTIA  A genus (species) in the family Marchantiaceae of the order Marchantiales, a group of liverworts

MEIOSIS  A type of cell division that results in four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes of the parent cell, as in the production of gametes and plant spores

MONOICOUS   Having antheridia and archegonia on the same plant

NERVE   Midrib or nerve of leaf, always more than one cell thick, also referred to as the Costa

NON-VASCULAR  Non-vascular plants are plants without a vascular system consisting of xylem and phloem. Although non-vascular plants lack these particular tissues, many, including Bryophytes,  possess simpler tissues that are specialized for internal transport of water

​OPERCULUM  Lid of capsule

ORDER  A taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms


PERIANTH   The sterile tubelike tissue that surrounds the female reproductive structure (or developing sporophyte)​

PERISTOME  The single or double ring of teeth at the mouth of a capsule revealed after the fall of the lid. In genera with a double peristome (diplolepideous mosses) the endostome is homologous with the single peristome of haplolepidous mosses

​PHLOEM  The transportation of photo synthesised sugars from one part of a plant to another

​PHYLLID The leaves of a Bryophyte, usually 1 cell thick, arranged along the stem or branch with some having a central 'Nerve' or 'Costa (a midrib)

PHYLLUM  A level of classification or taxonomic rank below kingdom and above class. Traditionally, in botany the term division has been used instead of phylum

PLEUROCARPUS  Mosses with monopodial main stems and inflorescences produced on dwarf lateral branches, plants often forming mats or wefts

PROPAGULE  A vegetative reproductive structure, e.g. gemma, bulbil

RHIZOIDS/RHIZOIDAL  Uniseriate (one cell deep) branched structure, usually arising from stems, often anchoring plant to substrate

SETA  The stalk of a sporophyte between the foot and the capsule

SPECIES  A species is a biological designation for any life form that identifies it within an established ranking system based on its physical and genetic similarities to other life forms

SPORANGIA  Collection of sporophytes

SPORE   Biologically, a minute, typically one-celled, reproductive unit capable of giving rise to a new individual without sexual fusion


SPOROPHYTE  The asexual diploid phase of the moss life cycle, consisting of foot embedded in the gametophyte, stem or stalk and capsule which produces spores following meiosis

SUBSTRATE  The surface or material on upon which a Bryophyte  lives and grows

TAXONOMIC  A term referring to the classification of things, especially organisms and including plants

THALLOID/THALLUS   The term thallus is a botanical term that refers to the body of a plant that does not have leaves, stems and roots. In botany, historically, this term has been applied to algae, fungi and the various divisions of bryophytes. A liverwort which has a Thallus is described as a Thalloid Liverwort

TUBER/S  Rhizoidal gemma

VASCULAR  The two types of vascular tissue, xylem and phloem, are responsible for moving water, minerals, and the products of photosynthesis throughout the plant. Bryophytes do not possess this facility and are therefore Non-Vascular plants

VEGETATIVE (Propogation)  A fragmented part of the Gametophyte which falls away and becomes a propagule

XYLEM  The transport of water and nutrients from roots to stems and leaves in a Vascular plant.