Lauraceous Flowers from the Eocene of Vancouver Island: Tinaflora beardiae gen. et sp nov (Lauraceae)

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  • Premise of research. Twenty-one permineralized fossil flowers assignable to Lauraceae from the Eocene Appian Way locality on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, provide important anatomical and morphological data for interpreting evolutionary patterns in this diverse magnoliid family. Methodology. Consecutive anatomical sections were prepared using the cellulose acetate peel technique. Morphology and anatomy of the flowers were determined from anatomical sections, and three-dimensional reconstructions were rendered from serial sections using the software Amira. Pivotal results. Fossil flowers with oil bodies, trichomes, pollen, ovary anatomy, and other characters have allowed for the reconstruction of actinomorphic, pedicellate, and trimerous flowers with tepals in two whorls adnate to a shallow hypanthium. Nine fertile stamens occur in three whorls, the innermost of which bears paired glandular appendages, and a fourth whorl of sagittate staminodes surrounds the carpel. Anthers are tetrasporangiate. Stamens of the two outer whorls have median pollen sacs that are shorter than the two marginal pollen sacs. Third-whorl stamens have median pollen sacs that are longer than the marginal pollen sacs. Anthers of the first and second whorls are introrse, while the third-whorl anthers are extrorse. The fossil flowers have diagnostic characters of Lauraceae and are compared to flowers of extinct and extant taxa. Conclusions. The Eocene floral remains are assigned to Tinaflora beardiae gen. et sp. nov. We infer some aspects of floral biology based on different stages of development preserved among the fossils. The combination of well-preserved floral organs and in situ pollen is rare in the fossil record, allowing T. beardiae to expand the diversity of lauraceous floral morphology and provide further evidence for an Eocene radiation of the family in Laurasia.
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  • Keywords: Lauraceae, Eocene, Neocinnamomum, flowers, fossils
  • Keywords: Lauraceae, Eocene, Neocinnamomum, flowers, fossils
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  • Atkinson, B. A., Stockey, R. A., Rothwell, G. W., Mindell, R. A., & Bolton, M. J. (2015). Lauraceous Flowers from the Eocene of Vancouver Island: Tinaflora beardiae gen. et sp. nov.(Lauraceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences, 176(6), 567-585. doi:10.1086/681586
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  • 176
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  • 6
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  • This work was supported in part by NSF grant DGE-1314109 to B. A. Atkinson and NSERC grant A-6908 to R. A.Stockey.
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