Permineralized Flower From the Middle Eocene of British Columbia.

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  • A permineralized flower bud, two stamen clusters and one isolated stamen of similar morphology have been found in the black cherts of the Middle Eocene Allenby Formation of Princeton, British Columbia. Specimens were studied using a modified cellulose acetate peel technique and hydrofluoric acid. The single flower specimen, 4.5 mm long and 4.0 mm in diameter, represents half of a relatively mature bud of a bisexual flower with a superior ovary. The two-loculate pistil is 2.5 mm long with a solid style and a lobed stigmatic surface. No ovules have been observed in attachment. Twenty-two to 24 stamens are borne in three whorls or a tight helix. Pollen sacs of the anther are elongate with a thin connective while filaments are laminar. Anther walls contain rectangular cells with dark contents that also can be identified in isolated stamens or stamen clusters. A bundant stephanocolpate (pentacolpate), psilate pollen grains 20 ,um in diameter have been isolated and examined using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Grains are tectate, columellate with a broad foot layer that thins near the apertures, and an endexine of small platelets. The remains of four petals are surrounded by one large sepal, suggesting two in the whole flower. Morphological features of this flower are comparable to taxa of the Flacourtiaceae and Papaveraceae, but show closest similarities to the Eschscholziaeae of the Papaveraceae. Difficulties with reconciling the placement of this flower in the Eschscholziaeae and the known environment of deposition of the Princeton chert are discussed. The fossil material represents a new angiospermous taxon: Princetonia allenbyensis Stockey gen. et sp. nov., family Incertae sedis.

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    This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Stockey, R.A. (1987). A Permineralized Flower From the Middle Eocene of British Columbia. American Journal of Botany , Vol. 74, No. 12, 1878-1887