Scented or Snake Liverwort, Conocephalum conicum
Conocephalaceae or Conehead Liverwort Family


Lacking stems, leaves, flowers or fruits. The plant body (thallus) consists of flattened, branching straps. The surface is divided by deep valleys into sections, each of which is topped with a tiny clear volcano with a pore on top (the cones that give it the genus name "cone-head"). These cones admit both light and air into the plant body. Reproductive structures do not last long, and so are rarely seen. Male structures are purplish cups; female structures are green umbrellas.

A native member of probably the oldest group of land plants on earth. It prefers growing at the bases of tree trunks in wet, swampy areas. Rare in Wildwood; a single, healthy population is known from the trunk of a tree along the catwalk in the swampy area along Connelly's Run near the North Bridge.

Easily overlooked, but if you find it you will know it, because nothing else looks like it.

Closeup of thallus surface

Thallus lobe