Hornworts are rootless aquatic plants that grow underwater. They have long, branching stems and leaf-like branches that are forked into two or more linear sections. The branches are very thin, unstalked, and are whorled on the stem. The flowers are small, attached at the junction of leaf and stem, and have 7-15 tiny sepals that are fused at the base. Petals are lacking and flowers have either pollen-bearing or ovule-bearing parts, but not both, with both types borne on a single plant. The pollen-bearing flowers have numerous stamens and the ovule-bearing flowers have a single pistil. The fruit is an achene.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key