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Frequently Asked Questions


Identifying liverworts


How do I know if I have the right species?

Please use the liverwort guide we sent you, or you can look at the British Bryological Society's liverwort species finder pages. If you are unsure, post us a photo using your personalised liverwort portal, and we will look into it. Do not collect anything you are unsure of. 

I have caught the bug. How can I identify other plants? 

There are several of online resources and apps that will help you identify plants. Here is a selection:

Seek (app) and Inaturalist (website). If you create an account and post to INaturalist, other people pitch in and help you ID what you have found, including many world experts. Plus your records then get added to real biodiversity datasets, provided they meet basic minimum standards. Seek and iNaturalist are built by the same people. 




An academic paper looking at apps for British flora


Harvesting your specimens

Where should I look for the species you want?

Speciemens should come from England, Wales or Scotland only. Please abide by the BSBI Code of Practice when photographing and collecting specimens. Cooler, shadier areas, and places like pavement cracks are good places to look. 

Which conditions are best for collecting the liverworts you want?

Specimens collected after a few days of rain have the best chance of being viable.

Which part of the plant do you want? 

Try to collect (and not crush!) the gemma cups. 

What if I can't find two samples on the same day? 

You can put one sample in the fridge while you look for another one. 


What happens next?

We will log and process your sample. While we work on various experiments using your sample, we will provide an additional programme of online activities.


Other questions

I have lost part of my kit.

Please contact us using your personalised liverwort portal and we will send you replacements.

I didn't sign up for this project. Can I still participate? 

We do not need anyone to send us additional samples at this time, but we can give you access to online events and resources. Email You are also welcome, regardless of your location, to go on your own liverwort hunt and tag us on Twitter @slcuplants #liverworthunt.


Additional resources

Plant science activities for schools and science clubs


Some interesting research papers on liverworts:

Phytophthora palmivora establishes tissue-specific intracellular infection structures in the earliest divergent land plant lineage

Conserved Biochemical Defenses Underpin Host Responses to Oomycete Infection in an Early-Divergent Land Plant Lineage

Research shows first land plants were parasitised by microbes


British Bryological Society

CU Botanic Garden

CU Herbarium