Polytrichum commune moss with sporophytes

Polytrichum commune moss with sporophytes

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Caption: Polytrichum commune. Close-up of spore capsules of the moss Polytrichum commune. Mosses have a more primitive means of reproduction than higher plants, and do not produce flowers or seeds. The spores germinate into "gametophytes", which form the green part of the Polytrichum plant. Male and female sex organs develop on the gametophyte, and produce sperm and eggs. The sperm swim through a film of moisture on the plant's surface to the female organ, where the egg is then fertilised to form the sporophyte, seen here. This grows on a stalk on top of the gametophyte, with a spore capsule at its tip. Polytrichum commune is common in wet moorland and woodland.

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Keywords: botany, bryophyte, bryophytes, hair moss, moss, mosses, nature, plant, polytrichum, polytrichum commune, spore capsule, spore capsules, sporophyte, type

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