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The main characteristics of hornworts are:

  1. Hornworts are spore producing plants.
  2. The presence of horn like capsule which gives its name hornworts.
  3. The gametophytic plant body is thallus which is dark green, flat and lobed.
  4. There is alternation of generation between the gametophyte in the sexual generation and the sporophyte in the asexual generation.
  5. The sporophyte depends on the gametophyte for food and moisture and is connected with it.
  6. The sporophyte is erect, elongate with tapering having the horn like or needle like capsule.
  7. The sporangium splits from the top to the base which releases the spores. The pseudo elater helps in releasing the spores.