Hooker enumerated twenty-one species of flowering plants, and seven of ferns, lycopods, and Characeae; at least seventyfour species of mosses, twenty-five of Hepaticae, and sixty-one of lichens are known, and there are probably many more.
ACOTYLEDONES, the name given by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789 to the lowest class in his Natural System of Botany, embracing flowerless plants, such as ferns, lycopods, horse-tails, mosses, liverworts, sea-weeds, lichens and fungi.
The long linear leaves of some species of Podocarpus, in which the lamina is traversed by a single vein, recall the pinnae of Cycas; the branches of some Dacrydiums and other forms closely resemble those of lycopods; these superficial resemblances, both between different genera of conifers and between conifers and other plants, coupled with the usual occurrence of fossil coniferous twigs without cones attached to them, render the determination of extinct types a very unsatisfactory and frequently an impossible task.
The Sphenophyllales as a whole are best regarded as a synthetic group, combining certain characters of the Ferns and Lycopods with those of the Equisetales, while showing marked peculiarities of their own.
- In Palaeozoic ages the Lycopods formed one of the dominant groups of plants, remarkable alike for the number of species and for the great stature which many of them attained.