Angiosperm flowers are surprisingly diverse and well-preserved in Turonian deposits in the Atlantic Coastal Plan. In particular, completely preserved flowers of Magnoliidae with receptacular cups are notable for their preservation and unusual characters. One of these taxa is remarkable compared with any extant or extinct angiosperm taxon. These flowers have hairy, spirally arranged bracts on the outside of the receptacular cup and carpels spirally arranged in the base of the cup. The carpels are conduplicate with elongate styles and they each include one seed with a narrow wing. The styles extend through the narrow cupule opening, which is choked with elongate simple hairs. There is a whorl of bract-subtended abaxial stamens at the cupule rim with sterile bracts to the interior. These flowers share many characteristics with modern Calycanthaceae, but have dramatically different and unique stamens. We will present the details of floral morphology and consider the phylogenetic implications.
|Top view of flower||Side view of flower||Closer view of stamen|
Crepet, W. L. and K. C. Nixon, 1994. A unique mid-Cretaceous flower in the subclass Magnoliidae. American Journal of Botany 81 (6 supp.): 150-151.