Liverworts are primitive plants that can become a nuisance in plant pots and lawns. Liverworts are related to mosses and can look like slimy Algae.
- There are 300 species of Liverwort native to the UK and up to 10,000 worldwide.
- Thallose Liverworts have a flattened, plate like body, called the thalus, and no leaves.
- A common thallose is Marchantia which is topped with an umbrella like sexual organ.
- Leafy Liverworts have two ranks of flattened leaves growing out from a stem and a third under-layer.
- Instead of bearing regular roots, liverworts anchor themselves with simple appendages known as rhizoids
Liverwort Problems and Cures
- These plants are a nuisance because they colonise a pot plant and form a crusty surface layer.
- Liverworts like acidic, moist, shadyÂ conditions so deny them these luxuries where practical.
- Use free drainage in pot plants especially at the top couple of inches.
- Liverworts can grow on hard surface and can be treated with acetic or pelargonic acid, (Doff Fast Acting Natural Weed Sprayor Finalsan moss killers)
- If they infest a damp lawn scrape off the excess and spike to improve drainage. Add lawn sand if desired.
- Some thallose Liverwort species are aquatic and grow on ponds like flecks of lettuce.
- Liverworts reproduce by spores or gammea often transferred by water. Water pots from the bottom.
- Glyphosate and several weed killers will work. Add a few drops of detergent in the water to try to penetrate the waxy surface of the Liverwort.