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[liv-er-wurt, -wawrt] /ˈlɪv ərˌwɜrt, -ˌwɔrt/
any mosslike plant of the class Hepaticae, growing chiefly on damp ground, rocks, or on tree trunks and helping the decay of logs and the disintegration of rocks.
Origin of liverwort
late Old English
before 1100; Middle English; late Old English liferwyrt. See liver1, wort2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for liverwort


any bryophyte plant of the phylum Hepatophyta, growing in wet places and resembling green seaweeds or leafy mosses See also scale moss
Word Origin
late Old English liferwyrt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for liverwort

late Old English lifenwyrt, from lifer (see liver (n.1)) + wyrt (see wort). A loan-translation of Medieval Latin hepatica. Applied to various plants with liver-shaped leaves or that were used to treat liver disorders. Cf. German leberkraut.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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liverwort in Science
  (lĭv'ər-wûrt', -wôrt')   
Any of about 6,000 species of bryophyte plants belonging to the phylum Hepatophyta. Many liverworts reproduce asexually by means of gemmae. They also reproduce sexually, and their free-swimming sperm, produced in structures called antheridia, require liquid water, such as splashing raindrops, to reach the egg-producing archegonia. After fertilization, the small sporophyte grows directly on or in the gametophyte and is nourished by it. Liverworts are common in the tropics and often grow in moist soil, on damp rocks, and on tree trunks. Some liverworts have leafy bodies, while others have only a simple thallus. The name liverwort comes from the liverlike shape of the thalli of some species. See more at bryophyte.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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