Liverworts are primitive nonvascular plants that date back to at least 380 million years ago. The name comes from Old English and means “liver plant,” stemming from the erroneous belief that these plants were a cure for liver disease. They typically have a flattened body, called a thallus, and they must be covered in moisture, either from rain or moving water, in order to reproduce. These and other primitive plants — lichens, ferns, horsetails, algae — attest to the moist, sheltered environment in Stebbins Gulch.
|Return to Stop 8|