Moss Sporophytes

Moss Sporophytes

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Credit: PAUL WHITTEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 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 fertilized to form the sporophyte, seen here. This grows on a stalk on top of the gametophyte, with a spore capsule at its tip.

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Keywords: botany, bryophyte, bryophytes, diploid, evergreen, flora, gametophyte, ground cover, haploid, moss, moss sporophyte, mosses, musci, nature, plant, plantae, sporangia, spore, spore case, spore pod, sporophyte, sporophyte capsule, sporophyte stalk, stalk

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