Hermsen, E. J., Gandolfo, M. A., Nixon, K. C. and Crepet, W. L. 2003. Divisestylus gen. nov. (aff. Iteaceae), a fossil saxifrage from the Late Cretaceous of New Jersey, U.S.A.. American Journal of Botany 90 (9): 1373-1388.

Abstract: Charcoalified, three-dimensionally preserved flowers from the New Jersey Cretaceous (ca. 90 my before present) clay are described as the genus Divisestylus. There flowers have a pentamerous perianth, calyx united below into a hypanthium with free sepal lobes above, five stamens or staminodes opposite the sepals, inferior ovary, bicarpellate gynoecium, and capsulate fruit. The unique fusion of the gynoecium, with free styles and fused carpels and stigmas, suggests affinities to the modern family Iteaceae (Virginia willow family). Cladistic analyses indicate the Divisestylus groups near, but not within, extant Iteaceae, thereby making Divisestylus the oldest fossils known with clear affinities to Iteaceae.


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Actual width in ( ) unless otherwise noted.

Top view of
D. brevistamineus flower
( 450µm)
Side view of flower
(height= 1.3 mm)
(height= 390 µm)
(height= 130 µm)
Top view of
D. longistamineus flower
(1.1 mm)
Side view of flower
(height= 1.5 mm)
D. longistamineus petal
( height= 520 µm)
(height= 820 µm)
Pollen grain
(6 µm)
Divisestylus ovule attchment
(910 µm)
Divisestylus fruit
(height= 1.3 mm)