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Bryum argenteum (a moss)
Marchantia polymorpha (a liverwort)
Anthoceros agrestis (a hornwort)
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From Bryophyta, from Ancient Greek βρύον (brúon, moss) + φυτόν (phutón, plant) ( +‎ -phyte).



bryophyte (plural bryophytes)

  1. (botany) Any plant of the division Bryophyta, defined sensu lato to comprise the mosses, liverworts and hornworts and corresponding to all embryophytes that are not vascular plants.
    • 1993, Wilson Nichols Stewart, Paleobotany and the Evolution of Plants[1], page 77:
      Without going into their reasons, Bold, Alexopoulos, & DelBevoryas (1980) and Crandall-Stotler (1980) believe that there are at least three independent lines of bryophytes and that this is best reflected by establishing three divisions - the Bryophyta (mosses), Hepatophyta (liverworts), and Anthocerotophyta (hornworts).
    • 2002, William R. Buck, Bryophytes, entry in Niles Eldredge (editor), Life on Earth, page 202,
      Because of their small size and often delicate structure, bryophytes have a poor fossil record, dating back only about 290 million years.
    • 2003, Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, BCA 2003, p. 312:
      And so it was that I was introduced to Len Ellis and the quiet world of bryophytes – mosses to the rest of us.


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