BORGARDT, SANDRA J.*, KEVIN C. NIXON, AND WILLIAM L. CREPET. L. H. Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. - A Turonian inflorescence bearing perigynous flowers of a lower rosid affinity.
The outcrops of the Raritan Formation, of the Late Cretaceous in New
Jersey (Turonian, ca. 90 mybp), have been particularly rich in
charcoalified plant remains from diverse lineages, including ferns,
conifers, Ericales, Magnoliales, Caryophyllaceae, Clusiaceae,
Hamamelidaceae, and Triuridaceae. A new fossil taxon is represented by
several fossils including part of an inflorescence. The flowers are
small (1.8mm high by 1.5mm wide) and have half-inferior ovaries. Each
ovary is composed of two basally fused carpels. There are two distinct
stigmas, and dehiscence is biaxial apical. The flowers have ten
stamens or staminodia in a single whorl. Based upon attachment scars,
there appear to be five tepals in a single whorl arranged on the rim
of the hypanthium. One flower has retained an incurved, clawed tepal.
Pollen grains are small (ca. 10-15 mm). They occur as clumps on the
stigmas, carpels and "staminodes". Pollen is tricolpate with
no apparent endoaperture and coarsely scabrate colpus membranes.
Pollen morphology, ovary dehiscence pattern, carpel number, and the
presence of a hypanthium suggest a lower rosid affinity (e.g.,
Hamamelidaceae, Cunoniaceae, Saxifragales).
Key words: angiosperm, Cretaceous, fossil, lower rosid, Turonian