Polytrichum moss with male sex organs

Polytrichum moss with male sex organs

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Caption: Polytrichum commune moss seen from directly above. The brown structures are male sexual organs, which produce sperm. Mosses have a more primitive means of reproduction than higher plants, and do not produce flowers or seeds. The main body of a moss plant, the gametophyte, grows from a single spore. Male and female sex organs develop on the gameto- phyte, and produce sperm and eggs. In Polytrichum the male organs are much more conspicuous than the female organs. The sperm swim through a film of moisture on the plant's surface to the female org- an, where the egg is then fertilised to form the sporophyte (not seen). This grows on a stalk on top of the gametophyte and produces new spores.

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Keywords: botany, bryophyte, bryophytes, gametophyte, hair moss, moss, mosses, nature, plant, polytrichum, polytrichum commune, type

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