Crepet, W. L. and P. S. Herendeen. 1992. Papilionoid flowers from the Early Eocene of southeastern North America. P. S. Herendeen and D. L. Dilcher Eds. Advances in Legume Systematics: 4. The Fossil Record, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew p.43-55.

Abstract: Fossil papilionoid flowers have been described from the Early Eocene Buchanan clay pit in western Tennessee. The fossil flowers represent an extinct genus that has been assigned to the tribe Sophoreae because i) it possesses a papilionoid corolla with the standard petal outermost in bud and ii) it lacks any of the derived floral features that would place the genus with one of the higher papilionoid tribes. Within the Sophoreae the affinities of the fossils were evaluated through a cladistic parsimony analysis that included characters from flower morphology, pollen structure, and mature fruit structure. The flower consistently grouped with three genera, Clathrotropis, Bowringia, and Haplormosia, which have traditionally been placed in three different generic groups within the Sophoreae. Therefore the fossil cannot be easily associated with any particular group of the Sophoreae as presently defined.

FOSSIL PHOTOS

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Barnebyanthus buchananensis
actual width in ( ) unless otherwise noted.

Flower
(length= 2.3 cm)
Close-up of corolla
(1.1 cm)
Enlargement of ovary
(length= 1.3 cm)
Pollen grain
(12 ┬Ám)