|SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF PENNSYLVANIA - REPORT OF PROGRESS
P. DESCRIPTION OF THE COAL FLORA OF PENNSYLVANIA
AND OF THE
CARBONIFEROUS FORMATION THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES
BY LEO LESQUEREUX; ©1879
|Tables of Contents:
|All Four Volumes:
Scans and Webpage
©George Langford III, 2011
|SYRINGODENDRON PORTERI||DIDYMOPHYLLUM RENIFORME||SIGILLARIOIDES||Sporlederia|
|SYRINGODENDRON PACHYDERMA||DIDYMOPHYLLUM (SIGILLARIA) OWENII||INAEQUALIS||SPIRANGIUM PRENDELII|
|Sigillaria tessellata||Sigillaria Owenii||Stigmaria radicans||PALAEOXYRIS PRENDELII|
|SYRINGODENDRON BRONGNIARTI||STIGMARIA||STIGMARIA UMBONATA||SPIRANGIUM APPENDICULATUM|
|Sigillaria Brongniarti||STIGMARIA FICOIDES||STIGMARIA AMOENA||Palaeoxyris appendiculata|
|Syringodendron pes capreoli||Variolaria ficoides||STIGMARIA STELLARIS||SPIRANGIUM MULTIPLICATUM|
|Sigillaria pes capreoli||Ficoidites furcatus||SIGILLARIOIDES||SPIRANGIUM INTERMEDIUM|
|SYRINGODENDRON CYCLOSTIGMA||Ficoidites verrucosus||SIGILLARIOIDES RADICANS||NOEGGERATHIAE|
|Sigillaria cyclostigma||Phytolithus verrucosus||PINNULARIA||WHITTLESEYA|
|SIGILLARIA VANUXEMI||UNDULATA||SPIRANGIUM||WHITTLESEYA ELEGANS|
|SYRINGODENDRON GRACILE||RETICULATA||Palaeoxyris||WHITTLESEYA INTEGRIFOLIA|
|§ 4. SYRINGODENDRON.|
Cortex costate; vascular scars united in one.
Schimper considers the species of this group as representing decorticated stems of Sigillaria. This opinion may be right; but as these forms have not been identified with species known by their cortical cicatrices, their definite relation is unknown. I describe them under this separate section as it has been generally done by authors.
SYRINGODENDRON PORTERI, Lesqx., Plate LXX, Figs. 1-1b.Stems large, indistinctly costate; ribs narrow, scars in vertical rows, close, small, circular in outline; vascular scars punctate, covered by a deep convex semi-lunar impression; space between the scars irregularly striate.
Geol. Rept. of Ill., IV, p. 448, Pl. XXVII, f. 4-6.
The specimens from which this species has been made are fragments of trunks preserved in their cylindrical shape, one ten, the other twenty centimeters in diameter. The scars are small, one millimeter in both directions, round, when seen without magnifiers, but really composed, as seen Atlas, f. la, lb, (enlarged), of transversely oval cicatrices with a central punctate vascular scar traversed, either in the middle or above, by a deep semi-lunar depression giving to the cicatrices the shape of an eye half covered with its lid, as in Syringodendron palpebra, Daws, Dev. plants, Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. 1862, p. 307, P1. XIII, f. 12, whose scars are vertically two centimeters distant.
The surface of the specimens is apparently decorticated, or at least deprived of its epidermis; no part of coaly matter remains attached to it. I cannot relate this plant to any species of Sigillaria described. It might be compared to the decorticated surface of Sigillaria tessellata. But the scars are too close, scarcely one millimeter distant vertically; while measured from center to center, even in the small branches of this last species, the scars are at least three times as distant. One of the specimens which was found in connection with those described above, but which I have not seen, is said to be abruptly strangled and reduced by contraction to half its diameter. This deformation is sometimes seen upon stems of Stigmaria, for example, in the fragment described below as Stigmaria stellaris, Lesqx., and more distinctly in Stigmaria ficoides, Goepp. Perm. fl., Pl. XXXV, f. 2.
Habitat—Found at Eugene, Ind., and presented to the State cabinet of Ill. by the discoverer, Mr. Isaac Porter.
SYRINGODENDRON PACHYDERMA, Brgt., Plate LXX, Figs. 2,2a.Ribs narrow, highly convex; furrows deep, carinate; subcortical scars broadly cuneiform, emarginate at top, obtuse at the base, with a central irregularly circular mamilla; cortex a thick coating of coal whereon the position of the scars is indicated by small oval mamillae.
Brgt., Hist. d. veg. foss., p. 479, Pl. CLXVI, f. 1,
Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, p. 878; Geol. Rept. of Ill., II, p. 451.
Sigillaria tessellata (decorticated), Schp., Paleont. veget., II, p. 82.
The ribs are often narrower than in our figure, from six to ten millimeters broad; the cortex is also generally thicker, one and an half to five millimeters; the ribs are highly convex and the furrows very deep. The subcortical surface is rugose, striate lengthwise by thin lines undulating around the scars and narrowing in bundles between them, as in Atlas, f. 2. The cicatrices, three millimeters long, two millimeters broad, are obcordate, with medial small round mamillae joined by narrow inflated lines to the upper borders of the cicatrices, Atlas f. 2a, as seen on well preserved specimens.
The reference of this form to Sigillaria tessellata is contradicted by the highly convex ribs. The subcortical scars, compared with those of Sigillaria tessellata, Plate LXXII, f. 3, appear also far different in shape and size.
Habitat—The species is especially common in the anthracite basin of Penn'a; Trevorton, Pittston, Wilkesbarre. Rare in the Western coal measures. There is a specimen of it in the State cabinet of Ill. without indication of locality.
SYRINGODENDRON BRONGNIARTI, Gein., Plate LXX, Figs. 3, 3a, 3b.Ribs flat, separated by an obtuse scarcely marked furrow; subcortical scars oval, enlarged on one side, mucronate at the apex, narrowed at the base; vascular scars round, eccentrical, mammillate.
Sigillaria Brongniarti, Gein.,Verst., p. 47, Pl. VII, f. 8, 4.
Schp., Paleont. Veget., II, p. 97.
Syringodendron pes capreoli, St., Fl. d. Vorw., p. 22, Pl. XIII, f. 2.
Sigillaria pes capreoli, Gein., 1.c., f. 5.
The bark is thin, the lower surface distinctly striate, the upper bark also, but coarsely and irregularly so, with very small oval papillae indicating the position of the vascular scars.
Habitat—Two specimens, partly represented in Atl., are in the Mus. Comp. Zool., of Cambridge, both obtained from the lower coal bed of Trevorton.
SYRINGODENDRON CYCLOSTIGMA, Brgt., Plate LXX, Figs. 4, 4a.
Brgt., Hist. d. veg. foss., p. 480, Pl. CLXVI, f. 2, 3.
Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, p. 873 [as Syrigodendron cyclostegium - GL,III, ed.]
Sigillaria cyclostigma, Gein., Verst., p. 46, Pl. VI, f. 4, 5.
Ribs plano-convex; furrows deep, canaliculate; surface very thinly, undulately lineate; cicatrices circular, emarginate at the upper border; vascular scars round, large.
The figure represents a decorticated surface. The ribs, twelve millimeters broad, separated by deep furrows, are thinly undulately lineate, far more obscurely than figured in Brgt., l.c. They are also narrower. The specimen may represent a different species, though it is evidently referable to Sigillaria cyclostigma, as figured and described by Geinitz, l.c. Goldenberg has also under the same name, Fl. Sarraep., Pl. VIII, f. 29, differently represented the species. Hence it is far from being satisfactorily established.
Habitat—As figured by Geinitz, the form is common in the anthracite basin of Penn'a., especially at Trevorton. It is also not rare at Pittston. One specimen referable to it is in the State cabinet of Ill., from Alton.
|Species imperfectly known or of uncertain relation.|
SIGILLARIA VANUXEMI, Goepp.
Hall, Rept. Geol. of New York, p. 184, f. 51 (not named).
Goep., Ubergsg. fl., p. 546.
Daws., Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., 1862, p. 307, Pl. XII, f. 7.
Areoles hexagonal, longer than broad, contiguous; vascular scars indistinct, in the middle of the areoles; bark thick; subcortical surface distantly obscurely ribbed, its scars oblong, oval, placed in the furrows; woody axis longitudinally sulcate.
The above description is from Dawson, who has represented the specimen, l.c. He remarks on it, that it is a sandstone cast, fifteen centimeters long, imbedded among brachiopodous shells. The bark is in a coaly state, and the woody axis, though flattened, is quite manifest, and still retains some carbonaceous matter. It approaches Sigillaria minima, Brgt., but is smaller and not ribbed, in which last respect it resembles Sigillaria elegans, Brgt., of which it may be regarded as a diminutive Devonian prototype.
Habitat—Found at Allen's quarry, near Oswego, N. Y., in the Chemung group.
Sigillaria simplicitas of Vanuxem, Rept. Geol. of New York, p. 190, f. 54, is a species with slightly rugose elevated ribs and indistinct leaf-scars, therefore undeterminable. It comes from the Hamilton group, near Buffalo, N.Y.
Ribs narrow; scars long, elevated, oval; vascular scars three in vertical lines.|
According to the description of the author, the ribs are about two millimeters broad; the scars vertically one centimeter distant; the bark marked with delicate striae, converging to the areoles. The subcortical surface is finely transversely striate, and the scars appear as elongated depressions.
Habitat—Species described from a small fragment of the bark on a slab from the Hamilton group of Akron, Ohio.
Trunk arborescent, cylindrical; leaves double, united at the base,
disposed in spiral order, appressed (Goepp.); areoles prominent,
reniform, each resembling a pair of small areoles attached to each
The description by Goeppert is given in Gatt., II, p. 35, for Didymophyllum Schottini. It is completed by Dawson, Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., 1862, p. 309, for the following species.
Same characters as the genus.|
The areoles are about one millimeter in transverse diameter, horizontally seven millimeters distant, and five vertically, in a stem two centimeters in diameter.
The author adds: I believe it to have been a slender stigmaroid root or rhizome, sending out rootlets in pairs instead of singly.
Habitat—It occurs as a cast, with the thin coaly bark in part preserved, and is from the Hamilton group, near Skaneateles lake, New York. In Prof. Hall's collection.
DIDYMOPHYLLUM (SIGILLARIA) OWENII, Lesqx., Plate LXXIV, Figs. 10 - 10b.Trunks large, not costate; leaf-scars double, transversely oval, narrowed at the inside corners, joined by a deep, slightly arched line or groove; vascular scars small, narrow, oval central tubercles; surface between the scars regularly and finely wrinkled; roots obliquely diverging from the base, soon horizontal, marked with round stigmaroid areoles.
Sigillaria Owenii, Lesqx., Geol. Rept. of Ill., IV, p. 498. (Incorrectly described for measurements.)
This species is represented by three specimens—trunks of standing trees, discovered by Dr. Dale Owen, and transferred to his cabinet with the roots still attached to them as they were found in place.
The largest of these trees, figured in a very reduced scale,* is decorticated, nearly forty centimeters in diameter, cylindrical to the base, where it enlarges and divides into nine branches or
roots, simple or forking, rapidly narrowed to the part, where they are broken. The largest of these branches measure at their point of union to the tree about fifteen to eighteen centimeters in diameter, and at their broken end, at a distance of thirty-five centimeters from the base, they are only five to seven centimeters across.
The surface of the trunks is not costate, but distinctly finely rugose lengthwise; the leaf-scars disposed in spiral order or in quincunx, are double, about one centimeter distant both ways, oval, rounded on the outside, narrowed to the inside borders where they are joined by a transverse deep linear groove, each measuring three and a half millimeters horizontally, two and a half vertically, including the inflated borders. The space between them or the length of the furrow joining them horizontally from corner to corner is two millimeters, giving to the whole scars a transversal width of one centimeter.
I remarked in the description of this species, l.c., that these leaf-scars were a miniature representation of a pair of spectacles. I should have added overturned, for the line which unites both parts of the leaf-scars is slightly concave.
At the point where the trunk begins to enlarge, the leaf-scars, gradually closer, become united in one and are triangular or transversely oval, Atlas f. 10a, and then lower down or upon the roots, they gradually pass to round mamillae, true stigmaroid scars, with inflated borders and large central vascular points, Atlas f. 10b.
As Stigmaria is generally considered by authors as the root of Sigillaria, this species should be named Sigillaria Owenii. But the trunk is not costate, the scars not contiguous, but double, as in the genus Didimophyllum, described by Dawson for the former species. In a decorticated state, the base of the leaves of Didymophyllum remains attached to the scars in the form of protuberances pointed or emarginate, as in Didimophyllum schottini, Goepp., Gatt., l.c.
Schimper considers this last species as identical to Knorria longifolia, Goepp. (var. of Knorria imbricata, St.), which for some authors is a mere form of a Lepidodendron. We have therefore to decide the relation of the trunks described here between four or five different genera. They are certainly not referable to Stigmaria, though they bear stigmaroid roots. I have not seen any trace of leaves upon the specimens of Dr. Owen, nor do I see any in the figure of Dawson and of Goeppert representing Didimophyllum. These only show that the leaves of this genus, enlarged at the base, were joined to the stems by two distinct vascular scars, and the cortex covering them merely marked by small protuberances like those of Cyclostigma, not pointed, however, nor areolate at the top, but obtuse and more or less distinctly emarginate. These characters are not observed, as far as known, upon any species of Knorria. As the relation of Didymophyllum to Sigillaria is indicated by the stigmarioid roots, we have to admit that Stigmaria, considered as roots, belong to plants of different genera and not merely to Sigillaria. This affords the opportunity to consider the nature of Stigmaria as I do it here below.
Habitat —Near New Harmony, Ind. Clay beds in the upper part of the coal measures.
Floating stems or roots,
generally growing horizontally, distantly dichotomous; branches long,
scarcely variable in size in their whole length, sub-cylindrical or
compressed; pith, a woody cylinder, often eccentrical, composed of
fasciles of vessels disposed star-like; leaves long, tubulose, linear
when flattened, leaving after disruption, on the surface of the stems,
round scars composed of two concentrical rings with a central umbonate
mamilla pitted in the middle by a punctiform vascular scar.|
I consider Stigmaria as originally representing floating stems becoming roots under peculiar circumstances. The above description essentially refers to the stems. When attached to trunks as roots, Atlas, Plate LXXIV, f. 10 and 11, the divisions are more repeatedly dichotomous, distinctly narrowed downward; the axis or pith is central and the leaf-scars more irregular in position.
The remains of Stigmaria, the most common of the vegetables of the coal measures and distributed from the lowest to the upper strata, have from the first and for nearly a century occupied the attention of phyto-paleontologists. The exposition of the views of the authors on the characters of this plant would fill a volume.
As my opinion on the double nature of Stigmaria is generally contradicted, I will briefly expose the reasons of my belief, in considering the growth of these peculiar plants, their distribution, the part they have had in the formation of the coal and their different mode of action, indicated by the circumstances where their remains are found.
Fragments of Stigmaria, trunks, branches and leaves, are generally found embedded in every kind of compound, clay, shales, sandstone, coal, even limestone, in carboniferous strata, or rather from the Devonian to the Permian. They are always in a large proportion; far above that of any other remains of coal plants, especially of those of Sigillaria.
If it is not proved that Stigmaria remains have been observed in more ancient strata than those of Sigillaria, we know at least that Stigmaria has persisted in the permian formations of Europe for a long time after the disappearance of Sigillaria. For ten different forms of Stigmaria are described by Goeppert, in his Permian Flora, as varieties of Stimaria ficoides, from as many and far distant localities, while this author has seen, in this formation, remains of only two species of Sigillaria found at a same locality. Prof. Schimper mentions an analagous circumstance from the sub-conglomerate (Grauwacke) coal measures of the Vosges, where the strata are filled with innumerable remains of Stigmaria, and where no fragments of Sigillaria have ever been found.*
All the geologists who have examined the distribution of the carboniferous measures and the composition of the strata have remarked the predominance of Stigmaria in the clay deposits which constitute the bottom of the coal beds. As the remains of Stigmaria are always found in that peculiar kind of clay and also in the intervening silicious beds generally called clay partings, without any fragments of Sigillaria, it has been supposed that these clay materials were merely a kind of soft mould where the Sigillaria began their life by the germination of seeds and there expanded their roots, while their trunks growing up did contribute by their woody matter the essential composition of the coal formed above the clay beds. This opinion has an appearance of truth indeed. But how to explain the fact that beds of fireclay twenty to thirty feet in thickness are mostly composed of Stigmaria, or filled from the base to the top with remains of these plants, stems and leaves, without a fragment of Sigillaria ever found amongst them and without any coal above ? Roots cannot live independently of trunks or of aerial plants. According to the opinion of some botanists, the rhizomas of species of Lycopodiaceae and Equisetaceae may have for a long time an independent life, but it is as yet not positively ascertained whether they are true rhizomas or creeping stems. They have rootlets penetrating the soft mud upon which the branches are trailing, as in Lycopodium inundatum. In my opinion they are true stems.
Large surfaces of rocks formed of the bottom clay of the coal, hardened by metamorphism, are seen in Pennsylvania entirely covered with stems and branches of Stigmaria. The stems, very long, nearly of the same size in their whole length, rarely forking, crossing one upon another in all directions, cover the rocks with their leaves still attached to them in their original disposition in right angle. They have evidently the same position and distribution as during their growth, and there, over the whole exposed surface of the rocks, an acre or more, nothing is seen, either in any modification of the size of the stems or in their direction, which might indicate the rooting process or the axis of a trunk.
As seen from their fragments, the Stigmaria stems are not exactly cylindrical, but inflated upward from the sides of the pith, which is eccentrical and placed under the coating of cellular tissue which composes the substance of the stems and cortex. The pith is thus exposed naked on the under side of the stems, and the leaves come out from the sides and the upper surface only. This conformation shows that the stems of Stigmaria were floating or expanding at the surface of soft muddy flakes, and independent of the growth of trees.
The bottom clay, which underlies in various degrees of thickness most of the coal strata, has generally about the same chemical composition, and contains especially a large proportion of silica. A silicious clay underlies the beds of lignitic coal of the tertiary and also the peat deposits of our epoch, which are merely coal beds in an incipient state. This clay is formed. at our time by the decomposition of aquatic plants, Confervae, Characeae, etc., with the addition of moluscan life. It is generally when an impermeable bottom has been formed to the basins by the sub-aquatic vegetation that aerial or woody plants appear, and either floating or attached by their roots to the bottom, begin the deposition of the combustible matter or wood by the heaping of their remains. At the coal epoch Stigmaria has played the part of the aquatic plants, and prepared, by the life and the decomposition of its stems and leaves, the beds of silicious clay where their remains are So abundantly found. The clay partings of the coal beds formed of Stigmaria, even the lamellae of coal, where the bark of Stigmaria is discernible in its discoid leaf-scars, as it is very often the case, are silicious.
At the present epoch some kinds of plants inhabiting the swamps have floating stems. Their mode of vegetation is analagous to that of Stigmaria. Expanding their loose stems on or below the surface of the water, they gradually fill the ditches by their interlacing branches, and do not bear any flowering stems as long as they remain immersed. Species of Utricularia are of this kind. For example, Utricularia intermedia, Hayne, continues its subaquatic life for years, filling ditches and canals with the detritus of its decomposed floating vegetation. It fructifies only out of the ditches or out of water in wet sand, and there the stems bear true roots, penetrating the ground by oblique or vertical ramifications.
These plants present an illustration of the mode of growth and the nature of Stigmaria. The stems could grow independent for a considerable length of time as floating and sterile, or bear erect flowering stems or trunks when the ground was solid enough to support trees.
The process of transformation of floating sterile stems passing into trunks bearing roots is not easily explainable. We see, however, in a very reduced scale, the same phenomenon reproduced on a number of semi-aquatic plants of the present time—the Lycopods—the mosses especially. Species of Hypnum, Sphagnum, etc., for example, which greatly contribute to the growth of the peat, have rarely fruiting pedicels when they live immersed or floating. It is only when, by prolonged vegetation, they have formed a compact floating carpet at the surface of swamps, of bayous, even of lakes, that they bear fruits abundantly, in capsules borne upon pedicels long enough to sustain them above water. The process of fertilization may result either from seeds distributed everywhere, and which take root only where the ground is solid enough to support the stems above water, or by a kind of knotting of the more compactly entangled sterns, as we see it in floating species of Utricularia. The stems, then, change the horizontal growth into the vertical, and become trunks of Sigillaria, Didymophyllum, perhaps even of Lepidodendron.
Goldenberg has exposed about the same views as a result of long researches on the coal plants of Saarbruck. As confirmation of his opinion that Stigmaria is a plant sui generis, he has found small tubercles or capsuliform bodies in the angles of bifurcation of the stems. I have never seen any bodies of this kind in the same position, but have observed bladder-like tubercles at the end of the leaves, as represented Plate LXXIV, f. 12 and 13. The leaves, here, are not attached to the stems, but they were found in beds of clay containing only remains of Stigmaria, and the character of the leaves is easily recognizable. That these tubercles may be organs of reproduction, I cannot affirm. They are variable in size and shape and have been sometimes described as fruits. Corda Beitr., Pl. XII, f. 1, represents a branch of Stigmaria bearing leaves, one of them gemmifer or with an oval tubercle at its end.
Brongniart, however, admits that the observations of Hooker and Binney show beyond a doubt that Stigmaria are roots of Sigillaria. But Schimper, considering the regularity of ramification, the mode, disposition and disarticulation of the leaves, characters which are not found in any other vegetable type, supposes that those plants may rather be rhizoma than roots.
I believe that the views which I have exposed above may unite all the differences of opinion. Stigmaria may represent roots. In this case the plants have characters somewhat different from those given in the generic description; the pith is central, the leaf-scars irregular in position. They may be also floating plants, or according to Schimper's supposition, rhizomes or adventive stems of Knorria and Lepidodendron; for this author adds to his remarks on the Grauwacke of the Vosges, filled with a prodigious quantity of fragments of Stigmaria, without trace of any of Sigillaria, that these strata contain abundant remains or trunks of Knorria and of Lepidodendron.
The specific characters of floating plants or rhizomes are generally ill defined. This remark is especially applicable to Stigmaria, whose remains easily recognized by the round scars of the surface, can scarcely be specifically determined; for these scars are all of the same form, mostly of the same size, and disposed in a more or less distinct and regular spiral order. That these plants are referable to a large number of species is easily admitted in considering the number of species of Sigillaria to which these vegetables are referred. However, the European authors generally describe the forms as mere variety of Stigmaria ficoides. This matter is unimportant. I have followed here the nomenclature admitted by Goeppert. Schimper, etc.
STIGMARIA FICOIDES, Brgt., Plate LXXIV, Figs. 1, 11, 12, 13.Stems of medium size, dichotomous, branches horizontally diverging, slightly rugose; leaves of various lengths, simple, tubulose or flat and linear; leaf-scar circular.
Brgt., Classif. d. veg. foss., Pl. f. 7, (1822); Prod., p. 87.
Ll. & Hutt., Foss., fl., Pl. XXXI - XXXVI.
St., Fl. d. Vorw., II, Pl. XV, f. 4-5.
Corda, Beier., p. 32, Pl. XII, XIII, f. 1-8.
Gein., Fl. d. Kohl. v. Hain., p. 59, Pl. XI, f. 1, 2.
Goepp., Perm. Fl., p. 197, Pl. XXXIV - XXXVI.
Gold., fl., Sarraep., III, p. 17, P. XI-XIII.
Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, p. 870; Geol. Rept. of Ill., II, p. 447.
Schp., Paleont. veget., II, p. 114, Pl. LXIX, f. 7-9.
Variolaria ficoides, St. l.c., I, p. 24, Pl. X11, f. 1-8.
Ficoidites furcatus, Ficoidites verrucosus, Artis, Antedil, Phytol., p. 3, Pl. III.
Phytolithus verrucosus, Martin., Petref. Derb. Pl. XI, f. 12,13.
Parkins., Organ. Rem., 1, Pl. III, f. 1.
Steinh., Trans. Am. Phil. Soc., 1, p. 268, Pl. IV, f. 1-4.*
Some authors, Artis, Corda, etc., represent the leaves as sometimes forking near the top. I have never seen any of this character. The leaves are smooth, diversely plicate by compression, tubulose at least near the base. Even sandstone strata are sometimes filled with fragments of leaves of Stigmaria, all cylindrical. The leaves also are indicated by authors as about thirty centimeters long, or less. I have seen them at least twice as long. They are variable in thickness in some of the following forms described by by Goeppert, l.c.
Var. B. UNDULATA, Goepp., Plate LXXIV, Figs. 2, 3.Cortex marked by longitudinal, narrow costae, undulating by contraction between and under the scars.
Cortex reticulate-striate around the scars.
I have not yet observed this form figured by Goepp. Gatt., I, II, Pl. IX, f. 11.
Var. D. STELLATA, Plate LXXIV, Fig. 4.
Cortex marked by short broad impressions, diverging star-like from the scars.
Cortex longitudinally costate by deep nearly parallel stria slightly flexuous between the scars.|
It is much like var. B, with costae less undulate.
Var. F. INAEQUALIS ? Goepp.Scars unequal in size, indistinctly marked, surface obscurely lineate.
Stigmaria radicans, Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, p. 870, Plate II, f. 2.
The specimen is a fragment whose surface is partly erased and the scars irregular in shape and disposition.
Besides these varieties, I consider as specifically characterized the following forms :
Cortex smooth or marked with
undulating narrow costae; scars twice as large as those of Stigmaria
ficoides, highly convex, umbonate.|
I have rarely found this form; the longitudinal costae are narrow, more generally effaced.
Habitat—Mammoth vein near Pottsville, Penn'a.
Surface transversely rugose, irregularly costate lengthwise; scars small, distant, in irregular spiral order.|
The scars are finely marked upon a minutely transversely wrinkled surface; the ribs are superposed per pieces, or discontinued here and there between the scars; the scars are exactly round, two millimeters in diameter, twelve millimeters distant. Comparatively to their size, the tubercles are more distant than in any other form of the genus; the borders are more distinctly inflated.
Habitat—I have seen two specimens of this fine species, one from Rauch Gap, Penn'a, Mammoth vein; the other from the nodules of Mazon Creek.
STIGMARIA STELLARIS, Lesqx., Plate LXXIV, Figs. 5, 7.Stem large, cylindrical, irregularly strangled; scars in regular quincunxial order, small, round or angular, without distinct vascular points; surface finely wrinkled by parallel lines diverging star-like from the scars.
Sigillarioides stellaris, Lesqx., Geol. Rept. of Ill., IV, p. 450, Pl., XXIX.; f. 3.
Atlas, fig. 7, is a copy of the specimen in a reduced scale, about one third. The trunk, which I consider a part of a rhizoma, is fifteen centimeters in diameter, narrowed to one end and crossing the shale obliquely. The leaf-scars are upraised above the surface, covered by coaly matter obliterating the central scars and also the outside borders, which are irregularly round; the cortex is narrowly wrinkled by bundles of lines traversing from scars to scars, or disposed star-like around them.
By the alternately contracting and enlarging of the fragment, which is also somewhat narrowed at one end, this specimen represents rather a rhizoma than a floating stem. It is referable to the section established by Grand'Eury, under the name of Stigmariopsis, for a group of Stigmaria which he considers as roots of Syringodendron. The peculiar rugosities of the surface seem to indicate the relation of this species to Sigillaria monostigma, while the small transversely oval scars of Atlas, f. 5, have the characters of those seen at the base of the trunks of Didymophyllum Owenii, in their transition from scars of Sigillaria to those of Stigmaria.
Habitat—Shale of the coal of Morris, Ill.; Mr. Jos. Even.
SIGILLARIOIDES, Lesqx.Fragments of roots bearing stigmarioid leaves attached to sigillarioid rhomboidal scars.
SIGILLARIOIDES RADICANS, Lesqx., Plate LXXV, Fig. 6.Fragment of a root narrowed to the base; scars in irregular order of disposition, transversely rhomboidal or triangular in outline, obscurely mammillate at the top, with a central vascular point; leaves tending downward, flat, linear, marked by a bundle of vessels passing into them as a distinct medial nerve.
Geol. Rept. of Ill., IV, p. 449, Pl. XXXI, f. 4.
The obscure mamillae above the scars have somewhat the form of the basilar remains of leaves of Knorria when half destroyed by erosion. As seen from the leaves still attached to the scars, this is a mere tumescence, without distinct relation to the leaves. In considering the triangular shape of the scars, this fragment seems referable to Sigillaria monostigma as its root. It has, however, no relation of characters with the former species.
Habitat—Mazon Creek, Ill., in nodules.
|Roots of uncertain relation.|
PINNULARIA, Ll. & Hutt.This generic name represents roots or rootlets diversely divided in filaments of various length and thickness. The characters of these plants are variable and transient upon a same specimen, and their description is a matter of little interest when it cannot be completed by figures.
Lindley and Hutton have described Pinnularia capillacea, Foss. fl. II, Pl. CXI. It is part of a root pinnately divided in linear filiform branches. I have myself recorded in Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, a number of these forms, p. 878, Plate I, f. 9; Plate XVII, f. 13-20, as Pinnularia calamitarum, Pinnularia pinnata, Pinnularia ficoides, Pinnularia horizontalis, Pinnularia capillacea and Pinnularia confervoides, and in Geol. Rept. of Ark., II, p. 313, Pl.V, f. 9, Rhizolites (Pinnularia) palmatifidus, Atlas, Plate LXXV, f. 9, in order to give an idea of the characters of this kind of organism. They are referable to divers families of the coal plants and should be carefully observed to ascertain their connection with species known by other organs, stems, leaves, etc., already described.
|Genus of uncertain relation.|
Oblong or spindle-shaped bodies, formed of narrow linear leaves? interweaved or twisted in spiral, with the ends united into a pedicel which joins them, horizontally or in umbels.
The above is the substance of Schimper's description of the genus under which he considers these peculiar plants, Paleont. veget. II, page 514. I have never seen any of these spindle-shaped bodies united together, but always single. As represented, Atlas Plate LXXV, f. 11 and 15 they appear composed of six leaves; in the other species their number is not determinable.
Until recently these plants had not been found lower than the base of the Permian, and their range was recorded as from this formation up to the Cretaceous. On the species described here, the celebrated author of the genus remarks: "They show that this problematic type was already in existence near the end of the Carboniferous."
Schimper should have said the beginning or the middle of that epoch, for the geological horizon of Mazon Creek, where these plants are found in nodules, is referable to the lowest strata of the middle coal measures, or immediately above the millstone grit where species of the low coal, especially of Lepidodendron, abound, as can be seen by comparison of the table of distribution. Many specimens have been found at Pittston, Pa., under the conglomerate ledge.
I do not hazard any hypothesis on the relation of these plants, considered either as organs of fructification or as radicular appendages like those of some species of Equisetum of the tertiary; their structure is unexplainable to me.
SPIRANGIUM PRENDELII, Lesqx., Plate LXXV, Figs. 13-15a.Body narrowly spindle-shaped or obovate, abruptly acuminate, gradually narrowed to the pedicel; leaves distantly twisted, with broad square or rhomboidal spaces between them.
Schp., Paleont. veget., III, p. 585.
Palaeoxyrus Prendelii, Geol. Rept. of Ill., IV, p. 464, Pl. XXVII, f. 10-13.
This species to which should be added f. 14, described Geol. Rept. of Ill., l.c. as Palaeoxyris corrugata, greatly differs from the others by the large space between the spires of the leaves. The spaces give to the body the appearance of a small inflated bladder around which narrow threadlike leaves are twisted at a distance from each other. The surface between the leaves is of a different tissue, narrowly rugose or marked by very narrow parallel lines in the direction of the coils, Atlas f. 15a.
Habitat—Nodules of Mazon Creek, Ill. The first specimens were contributed by Mr. Michel Prendel. I have obtained since a number of others from the same locality, especially through Mr. S. S. Strong. A specimen of the var. corrugata, in Mr. William Gurley's collection, also in nodules, is from Little Vermillion River, Ill.
SPIRANGIUM APPENDICULATUM, Lesqx., Plate LXXV, Fig. 12.Body narrowly spindle-shaped, more elongated and equally narrowed at both ends; leaves numerous, twisted close together, broadly oblique to the axis, projecting on the borders.
Schp., Paleont. veget., III, p. 585.
Palaeoxyris appendiculata, Lesqx., l.c., p. 465, Pl. XXVII, f.11.
The last character is apparently the result of a compression which, flattening the borders, has forced outside or crushed the folds of the leaves.
Habitat—Same locality as the former.
SPIRANGIUM MULTIPLICATUM, Sp. nov., Plate LXXV, Fig. 11.Body obovate, large, contracted to the pedicel, abruptly rounded to the top, composed of fasciculate obtuse large leaves, closely twisted in obtuse angle.
The leaves appear to have been united at the top of the body, where the end of one of them remains erect. This leaf is somewhat enlarged and obtuse, without medial nerve. The twisting in the middle of the body is close and somewhat irregular. The spindle is comparatively larger, two and a half centimeters broad in the middle, the other species scarcely measuring one and a half centimeter. The species is related by its size to Spirangium Munsteri (Presl.), St., Fl. d. Vorw. II, Pl. LIX, f. 10, 11.
Habitat—Nodules of Mazon Creek; communicated by Mr. S. S. Strong.
Body long and narrow; ligaments
thick, twisted like twine, interwoven in close spiral; intervals
rhomboidal; pedicel long, twisted; apex gradually tapering and
This form is represented by many specimens merely slightly variable in size. The ligaments are thick and narrow, nearly square or round, not flattened, the intervals, between the winding upraised threads on the body, are short, two millimeters, forming deeply rhomboidal areoles. The body is short, two and a half to three and a half centimeters long, seven to seventeen millimeters in diameter in the middle, the branches twisted. The inside ones, all broken toward their extremity, are three and a half centimeters long, the others, a little shorter, are gradually tapering into an acute point. All the specimens, except one somewhat broader, are of the same shape and size.
Habitat—Found in numerous specimens in the sub-conglomerate ledge of Pittston, Mr. R. D. Lacoe.
described, Fl. d. Vorw., I, II, p. 28, Pl. XX, already in 1852. The
species is represented by a branch, slender stem or radius, bearing
obovate ,alternate pinnules attached to the rachis by their narrowed
base or sessile.|
The relation of this plant is not indicated by Sternberg. Goeppert, who received specimens from him, described and figured it again in his Gattungen, considering it as a Fern related to Cyclopteris.
Brongniart, however, comparing it to species of Zamia, placed it between the Cycadeae and the Conifers. Grand'Eury remarks that pinnate and pinnatifid leaves having the structure of the Cordaites and considered as referable to Noeggerathia, have also in part the construction of Ferns, and in the absence of the fructifications, as yet unknown, may as well be placed with the Ferns as with the Cycadeae. He nevertheless admits them in the Docotyledonous gymnosperms, a distribution followed also by Saporta.
Under the generic name of Doleropteris, Grand'Eury also refers to the Noeggerathiae simple sessile round thick leaves, always entire, divided only by splitting, which, he says, are similar to Ferns only by their widely dilated borders. He remarks that they are sometimes found in connection with seeds. To this genus he refers Adiantites giganteus Goepp., Syst., p. 221, Pl. VII, a very large leaf, widening upward from a cuneate base, comparable by its shape and its nervation to Rhacophyllum flabellatum? St. Atlas, Plate LVII, f. 1; Cyclopteris orbicularis, Brgt., and perhaps Cyclopteris elegans, Lesqx.*
According to these references most of the round leaves which I have described as rachidal leaflets of Neuropteris should be placed in the new genus as related to the Noeggerathia. But as the cyclopterid leaves have most of all been found in connection with species of the genus Neuropteris, and identified with them, either by peculiar characters remarked upon leaflets of both Neuropteris and Cyclopteris, or by their attachment to pinnae of the same genus, I do not see as yet any reason for that separation. Cyclopteris orbicularis, Brgt., is so like the large leaves of Neuropteris rarinervis which I have seen attached successively along a rachis of this Fern, that the distribution of these two species into two different groups seems really an anomaly. In Neuropteris rarinervis, of which I have represented a fragment with both neuropterid and cyclopterid leaflets attached to the same branch, Atlas, Plate XV, f. 3, the veins are often fibrous, filicular, or separating in hair-like filaments, a character given to the leaves of Doleropteris by the author, and which is so peculiarly distinct in Neuropteris anomala, Atlas, Plate VII, f. 1.
A large number of species described by authors as Noeggerathia are of uncertain affinity and apparently referable to the Cordaiteae; at least, I admit them into this order. But for this opinion I have here no point of comparison. For, as yet, no species of true Noeggerathia has been found in the American coal measures, at least none answering to the description given by Schimper and other European authors, as plants bearing pinnate leaves, attached to the stem by a semi-twisted base, dilated upwards, veins flabellate and dichotomous. A few leaves only, represented Atlas, Plate IV, f. 1-3, may have their place in the Noeggerathiae. The peculiar character of their nervation has some analogy to that of the Ginkgo or Salisburia of the Conifers. They are all described under the following generic name.
Frond simple or pinnate, nerves fasciculate, confluent to the base, not dichotomous; fructifications unknown.|
The author remarks on the above definition, Ann. of Sci. of Clevel., v. 1, (1853,) p. 116, that the characters of this genus cannot be fully given until other species are discovered; but that it is evident that the peculiar nervation of the plant described in it, Whittleseya elegans, must exclude it from all other known genera.
The leaves of these plants are of a thick texture, narrowly fan-like, truncate, undulate or dentate at the upper border, entire on the sides, rounded in, rapidly narrowing to a short petiole; the nerves parallel, composed of bundles of thread-like simple filaments, converging at the base, are separated by linear smooth intervals.
WHITTLESEYA ELEGANS, Newby., Plate IV, Fig. 1-1a.Pinnae simple, thick, narrowly fan-like, rounded in, narrowing to the petiole, truncate and acutely dentate at the upper border; veins in bundles of slender parallel filaments, converging at the base and at the apex in entering the teeth and connivent at their sharp point.
Newby., l.c., p. 116, f. 1-2b.
No leaf attached to a stem has been found until now, though the specimens are extremely numerous at the only locality where the species has been found. Two, three or more leaves are often placed without any relative order of position upon pieces of slate of small size, as seen in the specimen figured. The longest pedicel I have seen is one centimeter. It is cut square at its base, as if detached from a stem. The author has seen, upon some specimens, slender branches bearing alternate petioles, which, he supposes, may be the rachis to which the leaves were attached.
The relation of this species and of the others of this genus is with Cyclopteris digitata, Brgt., Hist. d. veg. foss., p. 219, Pl. LXI bis., f. 2, 3, (Ginkgo digitata, Heer, beautifully illustrated in Fl. arct., IV, p. 40, Pl. X, f. 1 - 6). It is also distinctly marked with Cyclopteris crenata, Braun, Paleont. IX, p. 52, Pl. XIII, f. 8, which is of the same type and referable to the same group as Whittleseya or to the Salisburiae.
The leaves of this species are mixed with a great number of fruits, Trigonocarpus, Rhabdocarpus, etc., probably derived of this or other analogous plants of the same group.
Habitat—Collected first by Mr. Ch. Whittlesey, at the mines of Cuyahoga falls, Ohio; after him by Dr. Newberry, and later by myself.
WHITTLESEYA INTEGRIFOLIA, Sp. nov., Plate IV, Fig. 2.Leaf obovate, a little narrower and abruptly rounded at the base, broadly obtuse and entire at the upper border, subcordate at the point of attachment of the petiole (broken); veins of the same character as in the first species; filaments obliterated by a thick opaque epidermis; decorticated surface irregularly lineate lengthwise.
This leaf, though much resembling those of the former species, is clearly different—by its coriaceous texture, the epidermis being thick, opaque, obliterating the veins; by the upper border which is entire and by the base, slightly emarginate at the point of attachment of a broken pedicel. Under the epidermis transformed into a coating of coaly matter about half a millimeter thick, the surface is irregularly lined as by the impression of the veins. Their fasciculate character is seen on the left corner of the leaf where the epidermis is preserved.
Habitat—Found in a lot of specimens sent by Prof. Eug. A. Smith, front Tuscaloosa, Ala.
WHITTLESEYA UNDULATA, Sp. nov., Plate IV, Fig. 3.Leaf narrowly fan-shaped, undulate at the upper border, rounded and narrowed to the base, apparently pedicellate (pedicel broken); surface erased or deprived of the epidermis, irregularly lineate.
This leaf may represent a variety of the former species, though far different in outline. The upper borders are undulate, the surface wrinkled and lineate lengthwise, the base gradually rounded to the petiole or to a point of attachment. It has, by the undulations of the borders, the facies of a small leaf of Cordiates, or rather of a leaflet of Noeggerathia flabellata, Ll. & Hutt., Foss. fl., Pl. XXVIII and XXIX.
Habitat—Found in the same lot with the former.