A liverwort plant close up ()
Generally, most liverworts grow prostrate and consist of a flattened, branching structure (known as the thallus) or plant body. Some liverworts produce leafy stems, which are also flattened. Ancient beliefs included that liverworts cured diseases of the liver, hence the name. The unrelated flowering plant hepatica is sometimes mistakenly called a liverwort, due to the similarity with the alternative name of liverworts: hepatics.