This plant is a botanical curio.
At first glance it appears very similar to the liverwort Monosolenium, but it is actually neither a moss nor a seaweed, but prothalli of the fern Lomariopsis lineata.
A brief excursion into the world of botany:
In contrast to flowering plants, which reproduce by means of seeds, ferns possess spores. Ferns develop by way of a very interesting and complex process:
Sowing fern spores will give rise to a green crop, provided sufficient moisture is available. After a number of weeks, a heart-shaped formation emerges - the prothallium. This is not the new fern plant, but the sexual generation from which the actual fern plant is produced.
The loma fern does not progress beyond the prothallium stage. This fern grows continuously under water as a result of a constant cell division process.
A fascinating spectacle in mini format!
As Lomariopsis lineata does not float up to the surface, it can either simply be placed on the gravel or tied to a stone or root by means of a nylon thread. As the plant grows very slowly, it takes several weeks for the prothallia to grow through the hairnet. Once it appears, this botanical curio offers many months of pleasure – without requiring any care whatsoever.
If the cushion grows too large, it can simply be divided up to start a separate cushion growing elsewhere.