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(order Jungermanniales)

A genus of leafy liverworts, of which P. purpurea is typical. It is a robust, distinctive plant with prostrate primary stems from which arise leafy shoots that are more or less erect, and deep purplish-red. Each leaf consists of 2 parts. One part is large, concave, with a shallowly cleft and toothed tip. The other part is much smaller, deeply concave and hooded; a flap at the base acts as a valve, allowing water to enter but preventing its escape. Microscopic animals may become trapped in these tiny ‘pitchers’ and may act as an additional source of nutrients for the liverwort. The species is common on wet, peaty heathland and moorland in western Scotland and Ireland.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.

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