Skip to main content
Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




Until recently Anthoceros and its allied genera were classed with the Hepaticae. The gametophyte is thalloid, usually dark green and multilayered, but the tissues are not differentiated. The life-history is the same as in Hepaticopsida, with the archegonia and antheridia sunk in the tissues of the thallus; the sporophyte consists of a foot, an intermediate growing region, and a long, cylindrical capsule with a central columella. The capsule, indeterminate in length, is brown or blackish and splits along the side to liberate the spores.

The New Zealand genera Anthoceros, Phaeoceros, Megaceros, and Dendroceros are found throughout the world and are reputedly difficult of determination.

As yet no handbook of the New Zealand liverworts has been compiled, but in addition to the early literature and Stephani's Species Hepaticarum there are papers in the Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and more recently R. M. Schuster has published the following important article: “Annotated Keys to the Genera of Antipodal Hepaticae with special reference to New Zealand and Tasmania”. Journal of the Haltori Botanical Laboratory, 26, 185–387 (July 1963).

by Eliza Amy Hodgson, F.L.S., F.R.S.N.Z., Amateur Botanist, Awamate R.D., Wairoa, Hawke's Bay.