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While exploring a forest, you come upon a plant that you haven’t seen before.  You dig it up and take it back to your lab for further inspection.  Back at the lab, you observe the characteristic structure of the plant and make some notes.  Then, you carefully dissect the stems and leaves and look at the tissue under the microscope.    Finally, you are able to determine the type of plant it is.

Use the notes below to identify the phylum to which this plant belongs.

Notes on physical characteristics of the specimen:

  • the plant has no leaves or roots, but has hair-like rhizomes which anchors it in the soil
  • the stems are highly branched
  • sporangia are present at the ends of each stem
  • dissection of the stem shows the presence of vascular tissue in the form of a xylem and phloem