FOSSIL PLANTS OF THE COAL STRATA OF PENNSYLVANIA.
Preface by Henry Darwin Rogers
new species of fossil plants, one hundred and ten in number, are some of
the results of a systematic investigation of the fossil flora of the
carboniferous strata of Pennsylvania and the adjacent coal-fields of
Ohio and Virginia, undertaken a few years ago by my able assistant in
this department of the geological survey of Pennsylvania, Leo
Lesquereux, Esq., formerly of Switzerland, now of Columbus, Ohio.
By far the greater part of the specimens
were collected by himself. A few of the new species were first seen and
studied by him in the rich local cabinets of Mr. Clarkson, of
Carbondale, and of the Rev. W. Moore, of Greensburg, to whom our best
thanks are due for their liberality in thus opening their collections
for the description of what was new. Many of these hitherto undescribed
forms were discovered in the slates, associated with the beds of
anthracite in the coal-fields of Eastern Pennsylvania, which, compared
with the bituminous Coal-measures of Western Pennsylvania, appear not
only to contain a greater variety of species, but to present them in a
condition of more perfect preservation for study.
The new species here briefly described by
Mr. Lesquereux constitute about one-half of the total number of
well-defined forms hitherto detected by him in the Coal-measures and
lower carboniferous rocks (the Vespertine series) of Pennsylvania; more
than one hundred of the two hundred and twenty species examined by him
proving to be entirely identical with species already recognised in the
European coal-fields, and some fifty more of them showing differences so
slight, that a fuller comparison with better specimens may result in
their identification likewise. As a further evidence of the near
affinity of the North-American to the European fossil flora of the
carboniferous age, he has remarked, in the course of his investigations,
that even these new species, which seem restricted to this continent,
are every one of them in close relationship with European forms. It
deserves mention, moreover, that the commonest European species are
likewise the most common American ones.
comparison of the fossil plants of the several broad coal-basins of the
United States, in their order from E. to W., will probably disclose a
corresponding reduction in the number and variety of the species,—a view
already suggested by their relative paucity in the bituminous
coal-fields of Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, as measured against their
abundance in the anthracitic basins.
|GENERAL REMARKS ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE COAL-PLANTS IN PENNSYLVANIA,
AND ON THE FORMATION OF THE COAL.
By LEO LESQUEREUX, Esq. of Columbus, Ohio.
distribution of the fossil plants in the great coal-basins of America,
especially in comparison with the vegetation of the same geological date
in different parts of the world, is certainly one of the most
interesting and important questions of geology. Before coming to any
general considerations on this subject, it is necessary to look to the
distribution of the fossil plants in the coal-basins of
Pennsylvania,—apparently narrowing our point of view, but only to
ascertain our premises, and to follow afterwards our deductions with
The examination of the fossil plants of Europe has led many geologists
to suppose that there had been some appreciable difference in the
vegetation of each peculiar bed of coal, and that, by a close
observation, it would be possible to identify the same veins of coal, or
at least some of them, at two very distant points from each other. The
geological formations are nowhere more continuous and homogeneous on
larger surfaces, and nowhere better characterised, than in the great
Mississippi Valley; and we think that a better confirmation of the
opinion above alluded to could not be found anywhere else.
The anthracite basins of Pennsylvania, cut into many fields by the
upheaval of the inferior strata, required first to be examined in its
different sections, from its Eastern limits at Carbondale to its
Western, to ascertain if those different sections following the
vegetation are only parts of the same original formation.
But before enumerating the plants for a proof of the identity of the
different basins, it is necessary to remark that we cannot expect to
find in two different parts of any coal-field, a perfect concordance of
all the species. It would be absurd to suppose that, at the same time,
the same plants have been distributed on large surfaces exactly in the
same proportion. As it happens in our own time, there are some plants of
which the presence suffices to give a general feature to the
vegetation. These are the plants most commonly found, whilst many others
of which the distribution is not so general, cannot in any way, either
by their presence or their absence, change the character of the whole.
It is also not unnecessary to remark that, in a flora of which so few
species have been preserved, and which is consequently so limited, the
number of the characteristic species cannot be great. And it suffices
that we meet a few of them, either in the different basins of
anthracite, or in the different parts of the coal-basin, to justify our
conclusion on the identity of those parts. It is well to recall to mind
that such is the difference in the flora of the geological ages, that,
in the nearest formation to the coal, or in the Permian period, there is
scarcely a single species left which can be related to the vegetation
of the coal.
We will then admit, as truly characteristic of the coal-formation of America, the following species:
with many species of Sigillaria and Lepidodendron.
|1. Asterophyllites equisetiformis, Bt.
||5. Calamites approximatus, Bt.
|| 9. Neuropteris heterophylla, Bt.
||13. Alethopteris Serlii, Goepp.
|2. Asterophyllites tuberculata, Lindl.
||10. Dictyopteris obliqua, Bunb.
||14. Pecopteris polymorpha, Bt.
|3. Annularia sphenophilloides, Ling.
||7. Neuropteris hirsuta, Lesq.
||11. Sphenopteris Lesquereuxii, Newb.
||15. Pecopteris arborescens, Bt.
|4. Sphenophyllum Schlotheimii, Bt.
||8. Neuropteris flexuosa, Bt.
||12. Alethopteris lonchitidis, Sternb.
||16. Stigmaria ficoides, Sternb.
Of these species, there are very few that have not been found in all the
separate basins of the anthracite coal. To give only a few examples,
Neuropteris hirsuta, Neuropteris
flexuosa, Sphenophyllum Schlotheimii, are met everywhere. The first
four plants enumerated above belong especially to the upper veins, open
at Pottsville and around that place. They were found also at Shamokin,
at Wilkesbarre, at Room Run mines, and at Tamaqua, in the lower
Coal-measures. The genus Noeggerathia, as we shall remark farther on,
pertains to the Vergent and Ponent (Devonian) formations. The same
species of the genus were found below Pottsville, and in the Lehigh Gap
at Mauch Chunk. No. 10, Dictyopteris obliqua, Bunbury, is at some places
very abundant, as at South Salem vein, opposite Port Carbon, and at
Trevorton, behind a wall of Sigillaria. Nos. 11, 12, and 13, belong to
the low beds, and are found at both extremities of the anthracite basin,
at Room Run mines, Wilkesbarre, Shamokin, Trevorton, and also at
Minersviile and Tremont, with many identical species of Sigillariae and
Lepidodendra. Nos. 14, 15, 16, have been found also in all the
localities of the anthracite basin.
But it would be useless to pursue this enumeration further, the identity
of the different basins of anthracite becoming more evident by what we
have to say upon the identity of their different beds.
It would, nevertheless, be going too far to promise an enumeration of
the species belonging to each bed of coal or anthracite, for the fossil
plants are found well preserved only in the highest and in the lowest
strata of the American basins.
It is in the lowest strata of the coal and anthracite basins that we
find the largest species of vegetables of the time, especially the
Lepidodendra, with their bark, their fruits, and their leaves. On the
roof-shale. at Carbondale there is imprinted in one of the galleries the
bark of a Lepidodendron, 2 feet in diameter, and 75 feet long. The same
diameter is preserved in the whole length without any material
diminution. On the contrary, the highest beds of the basin have the
small and herbaceous species, and also the tree ferns; but more
generally the herbaceous ferns, of which the leaves and the smallest
branches have been preserved.
These highest beds crop out in the vicinity of Pottsville, and this
place is particularly interesting for the great abundance of the fossil
plants found in a good state of preservation at the Salem and the Gate
veins. The relation of the vegetation of both these beds is so close,
that after long and careful research, and though the dynamic
(structural) geology does not agree with this conclusion, we are not
able to point out a difference which will authorise a separation or a
distinction between them. There is only—and this not at every place
where these veins are worked—a slight difference in the colour of the
roof-shales, which are grey at the Salem vein, and more black at the
Gate. But this difference is scarcely appreciable. Following, then, our
point of view, and taking the vegetable palaeontology as the basis of
our identification, we may assert that the South Salem vein, opposite
Port Carbon, is the same as the Salem vein of the New Breaker; the same
also as the Gate vein of Pottsville, and of Port Carbon, and the Lewis
vein of Mill Creek. In all these veins the bed of coal, varying in
thickness from 4 to 8 feet, is separated into two by a greyish shale 6
to 12 inches thick, which contains the great abundance of fossil plants
of which we have spoken above: viz. Asterophyllites, Annularia,
Sphenophyllum, and Calamites, are there especially abundant, with
Neuropteris hirsuta, Lesq.; Neuropteris heterophylla, Bt.; Neuropteris
flexuosa, and its varieties; Odontopteris Schlotheimii, Bt.; Dictyopteris obliqua, Bunb.; Sphenopteris latifolia, Bt.; Sphenopteris
polyphylla, Lesq.; Pecopteris oreopterides, Bt.; Pecopteris arborescens,
Bt.; Pecopteris cyathaea, Bt.; Pecopteris arguta, Bt.; Pecopteris
unite, Bt.; Pecopteris loschii, Bt.; Sigillaria reniformis, &c. The
same plants are found in the same abundance, and on the same kinds of
slates, up the Schuylkill Valley, at Port Carbon, New Philadelphia, and
Middleport, where the vein is named Gate, and on the other side below
Westwood, or West-Branch, and at W.-West Branch, where the vein is also
named the Gate. Crossing the anthracite basin in a perpendicular
direction, we find the same plants we have already mentioned as
occurring at the South Salem, Salem, and Gate veins at Pottsville; at
Lewis vein of Mill Creek, and at Noregian; then N.W. of Westwood, where
the vein is named Black vein, at Muddy Creek, between Pottsville and
Tremont, and at the Tremont new vein. But though the plants above
mentioned are the ones which give the true character to the vegetation
of these strata, we will renew our observation on the general
distribution of the plants, and show that each locality has also some
species of plants which have not been found elsewhere. So at the Salem
vein of the New Breaker of Pottsville we collected one fine Cyclopteris
fimberata, Lesq.; Cyclopteris Germari, Goepp.; Neuropteris delicatula,
Lesq.; Neuropteris gibbosa, Lesq.; and Neuropteris dentata, Lesq. The
South Salem vein of Port Carbon has Calamites decoratus, Bt.; and
Calamites undulatus, Bt.; Annularia sphenophylloides, Neuropteris
adiantites, Lesq.; Odontopteris squamosa; Sphenopteris flagellaris, Lesq.;
Sphenopteris polyphylla, Lindl.; and Alethopteris muricat, Goepp. At the
Gate vein of Pottsville we have found Neuropteris fissa, Lesq., and
Neuropteris rotundifolia, Bt.; Neuropteris tenuinervis, Lesq.;
Alethopteris urophylla, Goepp.; Pecopteris notata, Lesq.; Pecopteris
concinna, Lesq.; Pecopteris decurrens. The Gate vein of Port Carbon is
particularly marked by the beautiful Neuropteris Rogeri, Lesq., found
only at this place, as the same vein behind the hill E. of Port Carbon
furnished us the remarkable Alethopteris serrula, Lesq. The Gate vein of
New Philadelphia, like the same vein at W.-West Branch, is especially
rich in the fruit of Asterophyllites—viz. Asterophyllites tuberculata,
Lindl.; Asterophyllites lanceolata, Lesq., and Asterophyllites aperta, Lesq.; with many fine
species of Sigillaria—as Sigillaria reniformis, Bt.; Sigillaria Brardii,
Bt.; and Sigillaria Sculpt, Lesq. When at Muddy Creek and Middleport
the same vein has also many beautiful Sigillariae, as Sigillaria fissa,
Lesq.; Sigillaria Schimperii, Lesq.; Alethopteris distans, Lesq., and
Neuropteris undans, Lesq., &c. The vein named Black Vein, N.W. of
Westwood, is particularly marked by Sphenopteris intermedia, Lesq., and
Sphenopteris Gravenhorstii; while the most different of all, the new
vein of Tremont, has, for its peculiar plants, Odontopteris crenulata,
Bt.; Alethopteris marginata, Goepp.; Pecopteris ovata, Bt.; Pecopteris
pennaeformis, Bt., &c.
The upper division of the Anthracite measures, characterised by the red
colour of the ashes, contains, with the beds above named, a few veins
with which we have become acquainted by many cross sections aroused
Pottsville, and at Mill Creek. These are below Salem bed; the Tunnel
vein, which has very black roof-slates, and is entirely covered with
Neuropteris hirsuta and its stems, without any other plant, and the
Black mine, of which the roof-slates are especially marked by the
obsolete prints of Asterophyllites, Annularia, and Sphenophylla, in such
a state of decomposition, that they are scarcely distinguishable,
though very numerous. We have found this bed with the same slates at
many places of the basin. Below it are the two Selkirk veins, which have
no fossils at all, but of which the roof and bottom shales are
impregnated with oxide of iron, becoming rusty coloured when they are
exposed to the action of the atmosphere. Below the Selkirk vein is
placed the Gate vein, which, as we have said, is the same as the upper
bed—viz. the Salem vein.
Between this upper group (the red ash) and the lower one (the white
ash), there is an intermediate one containing 4 or 5 veins of coal
worked. upon Mill Creek, and of which the slates, though very fine grey
coloured, show no trace of plants. It is impossible to characterise
them by the plants, but only by the colour and the nature of the slates.
But as soon as we come to the white-ash or hoover strata the presence of
large-sized fossils becomes apparent, first in the large quantity of
Stigmaria abounding at the Diamond and Primrose veins, then in the
Lepidodendra, and some large ferns which distinguish the Mammoth vein.
This vein especially merits being mentioned for its peculiar flora. The
roof-slate of grey colour, ordinarily charged with a great many nodules
of iron, has generally preserved the impressions of the fossil plants in
a very good state. While in the upper beds the predominance of small
ferns was so striking that frequently on a single slate of about half a
square foot we could observe as many as ten or fifteen species, here, on
the contrary, there is scarcely any fern to be found, or if any, it
appears to belong to the largest species. With the Lepidodendra and
their fruits, found in great abundance at Wilkesbarre, Carbondale,
Millersville, Tamaqua, Lehigh, and Summit Hill, the plant mostly found
in these low veins is Alethopteris Serlii, Bt., with its near relative,
Alethopteris lonchitidis, Bt., and also Neuropteris hirsuta, Lesq., and
Neuropteris Clarksonii. The fruit and leaves, or needles, of
Lepidodendron—viz. Lepidostrobi and Lepidophylla, are also very abundant
in the Mammoth vein of the anthracite, and as we did not find any
specimen of these fruits anywhere in the other bed above, their
presence, we think, may be relied upon as a true character of the lowest
beds of the coal-basin in general.
Nevertheless, we find in these lowest strata the same variety as in the
upper ones—viz, with a few characteristic plants, many which belong
especially to some localities. Carbondale is particularly rich in trees.
With nearly all the species of Lepidodendron that we have described, we
have seen there also the largest number of well-preserved Sigillariae,
especially those of which, the bark being smooth and without ribs, we
have a section nearly related to Lepidodendron. Wilkesbarre has plenty
of Lepidostrobi, and some large Pecopteris. Room Run mines, Alethopteris
Serlii, with the large Cyclopteris orbicularis, Lindl., and
Sphenopteris Lesquereuxii, Newberry. Lehigh Summit abounds in Sigillaria
elegans, Bt., and Sigillaria Brochanti, Bt. At Tamaqua we find again
Neuropteris hirsuta, Lesq.; at Miner's Hill, Alethopteris Serlii, Bt.;
at Shamokin the Lepidostrobi, and at Trevorton nearly the same flora as
at Carbondale—viz. an abundance of large trees, and both Alethopteris
Serlii, Bt., and Alethopteris lonchitidis, Bt. The only place where this low
stratum does not afford a striking likeness by its flora with the other
localities, is at the vein W. of Shamokin, near the creek, and behind
the mill. We scarcely found there any Lepidodendron, but only the
following species, which are worth mentioning: Neuropteris hirsuta,
Lesq.; Neuropteris tenuifolia, Bt., with its Cyclopteris elegans, Lesq.,
Sphenopteris glandulosa, Lesq., Alethopteris nervosa, Goepp.,
Callopteris Sullivanti, Lesq. On these species we may remark that the
first one is found everywhere from the base to the upper strata of the
coal; that Alethopteris nervosa, which was certainly a very large fern,
was found in the low beds only, and at many localities in the bituminous
coal and anthracite basins; and that the fine Callopteris Sullivanti,
which, by the form and direction of its leaflets, and by its general
form also, is much like Alethopteris Serlii, ought to be admitted also
as a very large fern. Neuropteris tenuifolia, Bt., resembles so much
Neuropteris flexuosa, Bt., that they are scarcely distinguishable. The
difference is here established by the age of the strata, as this last
species belongs to the upper ones.
We have already alluded to the identity of the great Appalachian
coal-field with the different anthracite formations, asserting that this
identity is especially striking on a comparison of the flora of the
different strata. The great Appalachian formation is divided in two
principal groups, each containing ordinarily four veins of coal, and
separated by strata of shale, sandstone, and limestone, from 300 to 500
feet thick. This is generally named the Barren formation, for though
there are at some places some traces of coal and coal slates, there is
not a good bed of coal in this whole group. The lowest bed of the basin
rests on the conglomerate, and crops out at the Portage Summit, where we
collected some Lepidophylla, especially with Lepidophyllum brevifolium,
Lesq., and at Johnstown, where the black slates of the roof are charged
with Lepidostrobi, and also with Lepidodendron. The only species found
there, different from those collected at Wilkesbarre is a fine
Pecopteris velutina, which looks like a large species. The same vein
outcrops also at Cuyuhoga Falls, Ohio, where it abounds in Lepidodendra,
Lepidostrobi, Alethopteris lonchitidis, and some Sigillariae. There is
also plenty of fruit there, Cardiocarpon and Carpolithes, as at the low
beds of Trevorton. The last place where we had an opportunity to examine
this vein, so rich in fine fossil plants, was at Great Kenawha River, 3
miles above Charleston, and there we found the roof-shales covered with
Alethopteris Serlii, with some fine Lepidodendra, and Lepidostrobi in
abundance. So we shall necessarily be forced to draw this conclusion,
that this vein of coal, preserving all its character at such great
distances, was formed at the same time, and under the same
circumstances, both in the whole extent of the great Appalachian
coal-field and in the anthracite basins.
Coming again to the highest vein of the great Appalachian coal, we find
the same relation between the species of plants preserved in its
roof-slates. We have not had any opportunity of seeing this bed cropping
out in Pennsylvania. But at Pomroy, Ohio, the bed of coal there worked
is generally acknowledged by geologists as one of the highest, if not
the highest, of the basin. It contains an abundance of ferns, the same
species as those found at Pottsville, especially Neuropteris flexuosa,
Bt., which is there in such plenty as to cover entirely the roof-slate.
And still higher, at Marietta, there is a red shale perfectly like the
shale of the South Salem vein at Pottsville, on which eve have seen
Pecopteris arborescens, Cyclopteris fimbriata, Lesq., Cyclopteris
trichomanoides, Bt., Asterophyllites equisetiformis, Bt., Sphenophyllum
Schlotheimii, Lindl., Annularia sphenophylloides, Ung., all the species
most commonly found in the highest beds of the anthracite coal of
Pennsylvania. The only species peculiar to the place which we did not
find at Pottsville, is our Asplenites rubra, Lesq., which, without the
fructification, cannot be distinguished at all from Pecopteris
This identity, so well established between the great Appalachian
coal-field and the anthracite basins, by the vegetation of both the
upper and the lowest veins, is of great importance; the more so as it is
nearly the only affinity that it is possible to point out between these
two basins. The difference in the nature of the combustible mineral is
well enough established, and though it may be possible hypothetically to
ascribe the transformation of bituminous coal into anthracite to the
influence of heat, we have nevertheless some parts of the coal-basin
where the matter does not evidence the slightest change, although
apparently subjected to the same influences. Thus the lowest bed of coal
at Portage Summit, elevated 2300 feet above tide-water, is still 1200
feet above the same bed of coal at Johnstown, without any appreciable
diminution of the volatile matter.
As it is, the identity of the vegetation is the only reliable proof of
the identity of both formations. But it is strong enough to eliminate
any doubt, and so we are induced to look to
some accidental circumstance for the cause of the difference. Perhaps it
is especially to be ascribed to the remoteness of the small anthracite
basins from the influence of the saline waters.
We would be the more inclined to admit this supposition, as from the
base of the Ponent to the highest strata of the Anthracite coal, we
could never detect any marine shells, when, on the contrary, these
shells are very abundant in the true coal-basin, not only in the beds of
limestone intermediate to the beds of coal, but in the shales of the
It is not our task to speak of anything that does not directly belong to
the vegetation of the coal; nevertheless we cannot omit to mention
some geological facts which may help to the identification of the
different beds of the great Appalachian coal-basin.
We have mentioned above, the thick Barren formation which separates the
two stories of the coal. At the base of these Barren strata there has
been formed in some localities a bed of grey shale, abundant in fossil
plants. We have observed it at Portage Summit, where it contains
especially Pecopteris polymorphe, Brongt.; and from the observation of
the Rev. Mr. Moore, in whose cabinet we have seen the beautiful
Neuropteris Moorii, Lesq., it appears that this plant was found also at the same
station, with many specimens of Pecopteris polymorphe. This shale is
very often represented either by a thin bed of cannel-coal, or by a very
black shale, covered with very small bivalve shells, together with
impressions of ferns. We have observed it first at Portage Summit, then
at Deer Creek, below Freeport; at Greensburg, three miles from the
city, both E. and W.; at Beaver, in Pennsylvania; also at Nelsonville,
in Ohio, and at Charlestown, in Virginia. The only bed of coal that we
have had an opportunity of examining in Illinois—viz. nine miles E. of
Terre Haute—is covered by these shales. A few feet above these shales,
near the base of the Barren-measures, large trunks of trees, especially
of the genus Psaronius, are found imbedded in strata of coarse
sandstone. These trees are either transformed into sandstone or into
limestone, and they have left only an impression (moulder) marked by a
thin crust of coal, or entirely silicified, their internal structure
being preserved. Their place in the vegetable kingdom is marked by the
form of their vessels. Such trees are particularly abundant at
Greensburg, Pennsylvania; at Athens, Ohio; and at Charlestown, in
Virginia. We could probably point out another locality with a
contemporaneous and identical formation—viz. the standing forest of
Calamites and Sigillaria preserved in the sandstone above the bed of
coal worked at Carbondale, in the anthracite basin. This may prove a new
and interesting geological fact added to the one already mentioned, for
the identification of both basins.
We have not made any extensive researches in the other coal-basins of
America—viz. the basins of New Brunswick and New Scotia, Illinois,
Wisconsin, and Iowa. The geological researches of others have already
placed them in the same formation with the great Appalachian basin, and
we have seen enough of the fossil plants collected in these different
countries, to permit the conclusion that the vegetation of all is
identical or contemporaneous. Among the fossil plants that we have
received from New Scotia, there is not a single species which we did not
find in the anthracite coal-basin at Pottsville; and all these plants,
collected in a single place, have proved to us that the vein of coal
from which they were taken is the upper vein of the basin. Mr. Bunbury
has enumerated a larger quantity of these fossil plants collected in New
Scotia; yet in the whole number we find scarcely a single species
unobserved in Pennsylvania. They are the following: Neuropteris cordate, with its variety angustifolia, is our Neuropteris
hirsuta. Neuropteris ingens ?—very doubtful, the specimen being incomplete, and
the extremity of the leaflet broken off. Neuropteris flexuosa; Neuropteris gigantea,
var., of which the author remarks that it is more an intermediate
species between Neuropteris gigantea and Neuropteris flexuosa. We think it only a variety of Neuropteris flexuosa, as the true Neuropteris gigantea is scarcely an American species,
though very often mentioned. All the specimens that we have received
under this name belonged to Neuropteris flexuosa. Neuropteris rarinervis, Bunb.—a good
species, very scarce in the anthracite basin; Cyclopteris oblique, Bt.;
Odontopteris Schlotheimii, Bt. Odontopteris subcuneata, Bunb., has a
great affinity with our Neuropteris tenuinervis, and may belong to the
upper part of the frond of the same plant. Dictyopteris obliqua, Bunb.;
Pecopteris marginate, Bt. Pecopteris taeniopteroides, Bunb., is nothing but a
variety of Alethopteris Serlii, very often found in the lowest veins of
coal at Minersville the specimens received from New Scotia agree
perfectly with ours. Pecopteris nervosa, Bt.; Pecopteris plumosa, Bt.; Pecopteris abbreviata,
Bt.; Pecopteris polymorpha, Bt.; Pecopteris cyathea, Sphenopteris obtusiloba, Bt.; Sphenopteris
artemisiaefolia, Bt.; Sphenophyllum Schlotheimii, Lesq.; Sphenophyllum erosum,
Lesq.; Asterophyllites foliosa, Lesq.; Bechera grandis, Lesq.;
Pinnularia capillacea, and some Lepidodendra, Sigillariae, and Calamites,
identical with our species of Pennsylvania. It would be impossible to
find a more striking identity between the vegetation of such distant
The specimens received from Illinois and. Indiana are still very few.
But we have already mentioned that the only vein of coal that we have
examined in this basin—viz. near Terre Haute, is the same in its fossil
plants, and also in some other characters, as the first vein below the
Barren-measures in the great Appalachian basin. There has not been
collected around St. Louis, and elsewhere in this basin, a single plant
which does not belong to our flora.
The coal of Wisconsin and Iowa has been explored by Mr. Dale Owen, who
assigns it a position a little lower than that of the great Appalachian
coal—viz. below the red shales of the Umbral series. It may stand so,
but the plants that he has enumerated and delineated from species of
Lepidodendra, would place the vein from which they have been taken
exactly at the same level as our low bed above the Seral conglomerate.
Both these strata of conglomerates and red shale may be wanting in the Wisconsin basin, and,
though lying lower, the coal strata would then be, as I think they are,
contemporaneous with ours.
From North Carolina we have received of late a fragment of the
roof-shale of a bed of coal in a still lower position. This small
fragment does not show any trace of vegetable remains, but only the
shells of the Chemung (Vergent) group. It may belong to another period,
but it is impossible to draw any conclusion from the small specimen alluded to. The parallelism of the different basins, and
even of the different strata, of coal in North America, being so fully
ascertained, we have to look to a more general and not less interesting
question—the comparison of the vegetation of the same period on both
continents, America and Europe. We could begin our comparison from the
first formation where we find some remains of plants, viz., in the
fucoids of the older Palaeozoic strata; for we have there Chondrites
antiquus, and many species of the same genus, identical with those found
in Europe. But as these species have been described in the Report of
the Survey of New York, and as we had not any good opportunity for
examining the plants of the Silurian period, we may omit to mention them.
We have found these Chondrites abundantly preserved in the Surgent
group at Bloomsburg, and below the Vergent group at Portage Railroad.
The terrestrial flora of the older Palaeozoic is either very limited or
scarcely known. There are few localities where the Devonian strata have
been entirely unfolded, and their shales, ordinarily coarse, are not fit
for the preservation of the plants. This fossil middle Palaeozoic
flora, excluding the fucoides or marine plants, counts in Europe only
about sixty species, distributed in eight genera. Though we are far from
having found in America as many of these plants, we have been able to
collect enough of them to ascertain the analogy, if not the identity, of
the vegetation of the ancient formations, both in Europe and in
The Calamites are not scarce in the Ponent series of Pennsylvania, which
corresponds to the Old Red sandstone. From the Neuropterideae,
Goeppert, we have mentioned in the Chemung group, or upper Devonian
system, our Noeggerathia Bocksii, which is the same plant as Neuropteris
Bocksiana of Goeppert, found in the old Palaeozoic formation of
Silesia. We have still three more Noeggerathia from the same formation
in America, and of these Noeggerathia obliqua is identical with the European
species, and the two others are perhaps so; for their relation with
some species already described is such, that the difference, if there is
any, cannot be established without a comparison of the specimens of
both countries. This predominance of the Noeggerathiae in the beds of
the Devonian age, both in Europe and in America, is itself a remarkable
fact. They are the true ferns of the Devonian period, and they disappear
entirely when we arrive at the lowest strata of the coal-formation.
Pursuing our comparison, we find another point of affinity in the class
of Sphenopterideae. In the Devonian rocks of Europe there is only one
species hitherto ascertained, viz. Hymenophyllites Gersdorfii, Goeppert;
and we have found in the Ponent rocks near Mauch Chunk a
Hymenophyllites, which we refer with doubt to Hymenophyllites furcatus,
Goeppert; but which, by a comparison of good specimens, would probably
prove to be the same species, the leaflets being often truncate, as Hymenophyllites
Gersdorfii, the general appearance being alike. We did not see in the
Devonian rocks of America any Pecopteris, but Stigmaria Anabathra,
Didymophyllum Brownianum, and a Pinorria, which were probably found in
the Devonian formation of Europe. Our Stigmaria minuta, which comes
from the Ponent below Pottsville, is perhaps the same species as the
undescribed Sigillaria minutissima of Goeppert. Fruits, leaves, and
stems of the undescribable Lepidodendron have been found as low as the
formation Cadent upper black-slate, in the Juniata Valley near
Huntingdon. These species are few in number, but their near affinity, or
rather their identity, with those found in Europe, may remove any doubt
as to the parallelism of these Devonian formations in both continents.
The same affinity of vegetation becomes much more evident when we come
to the true coal. The general likeness in the flora of this period is so
great that we could scarcely point out a difference, except perhaps in
the fimbriation of some species of Cyclopteris and Neuropteris, and in
our new genus Scolopendrites. But except this, in about two hundred and
twenty species we have examined, there is not any form that has not a
close relationship with the European species; and of these there are
more than one hundred entirely identical species, and fifty niece of
which the differences which have necessitated a separation would perhaps
prove accidental or invaluable, if better specimens had been procured.
What is more striking in the analogy of these floras is, that the most
common species in Europe are probably so in America, and this is also
the case with the scarce ones. We will only mention a few examples of
the most common plants of the coal-formation of Europe: we have
Calamites approximatus, found in abundance at Carbondale;
Asterophyllites foliosa and Asterophyllites tuberculata, two plants very
common in the upper beds of the anthracite basin; Sphenophyllum
Schlotheimii, which covers the roof-slates of the Salem Vein at
Pottsville; Neuropteris hirsuta, L. (same as Neuropteris cordati, Bt.),
Neuropteris flexuosa, with their corresponding Cyclopteris; Neuropteris
heterophylla; very common plants in the American coal, like
Alethopteris conchitidis, Alethopteris nervosa; Pecopteris polymorpha, Pecopteris
arborescens, Pecopteris arguto, with some species of Sigillaria and of
Lepidodendron. The most common fossil vegetation, as well in Europe as
in our continent, is Stigmaria fucoides, which sometimes appears as if
it had alone formed many veins of coal. We may as well mention here, that
the remains are plentifully found in the coal itself, though it has
been often denied that the coal of Europe preserved any impression of
the plants which formed it.
Among the species which are scarce in both continents we find
Cyclopteris Germari, of which we have obtained a single and small
specimen; Neuropteris tenuifolia, Neuropteris Villersii, Odontopteris
Schlotheimii, Alethopteris urophylla, Callopteris Sullivanti, a near
relative to Neuropteris conferta of Goeppert, Pecopteris ovata, Pecopteris abbreviata, &c. These affinities of the vegetation of the Coal
period serve to give us positive proof that the Palaeozoic coal-basins
of Europe and of America were formed exactly at the same time; but we
do not think that it would be right to draw the conclusion that at this
time the vegetation of both continents was identical. [As many authors have done, vide Banbury, &c. Some have gone so far
as to suppose that at the coal epoch the Atlantic did not separate both
continents, and that the coal-basin of England may be a continuation of
that of Nova Scotia.] On the
contrary, we find, by comparison of the flora of the coal, that, with
all its points of likeness, it had as many dissimilar ones as the
existing flora has now, and that the distribution of the plants
presented about the same proportion and disproportion as in our time.
But before looking at this question, it is necessary to understand what
points of reliance we shall find for the security of our comparison, and
where we shall find them.
It has many times been questioned if the fossil plants found in the
Coal-measures would give us any good general view of the vegetation of
the Palaeozoic era. This is easy to answer. Either the whole surface of
the emerged country was low, marshy, covered with the plants which
formed the coal, and the remains of these plants found imbedded in the
shales are a pretty accurate representation of the vegetation of the
coal; or there were dry and high lands around the marshes, and then the
petrified plants found in the Coal-measures would not give us a better
view of the general vegetation than the plants of the peat-bogs would
give now of the vegetation of the surrounding hills. It has been a
mistake of many authors to look at the vegetation of the coal, and draw
conclusions from it without a clear understanding of its nature. It is, I
think, unnecessary to recall here either the proofs of the formation of
the coal by the heaping of vegetable matter, or the growing of the
plants of the coal at the place where their remains are now found;
there is already evidence enough on that question. But we require to
remember a few of the laws of nature, to give us a better view of the
The woody matter of the plants is produced only by the absorption and
elaboration of the carbon of the atmosphere. The more the atmosphere is
saturated with humidity, the more carbonic acid is absorbed by the
plants. The more of light and air there is around the plant, the more
this carbonic acid is elaborated to produce the largest proportion of
woody matter. This fact, which is directly proved by chemical
experiments, is elucidated by nature everywhere around us. The plants
entirely covered with water have a very small amount of woody matter in
their tissue. And so we can assert that the true marine plants, or the
Fucoides, have never contributed a large share, if they have at all, in
the formation of coal. On the other hand, plants living in a very dry
atmosphere have ordinarily a large supply of sap and watery matter, like
the Cactaceae and the fleshy Euphorbiacea of sterile regions; but they
contains a very small proportion of woody matter; and so we can
eliminate at once this supposition that some plants of the coal, the
Sigillariae, and the Stigmariae especially, might belong to the family
of the Cactaceae or of the Euphorbiaceae, as it has been asserted by
Going farther into this subject, we find that the plants especially
composed of woody matter have need of another proceeding of nature to
preserve this matter from decay, and to transform it into coal. This is
performed by humidity, or by water. Every particle of dead woody matter
directly exposed to the air, is by-and-by entirely consumed by the
action of the oxygen; it is rotted, as we call it. But when the action
of oxygen is tempered by the presence of a large proportion of water,
the procedure is slow, and then the decay of wood is exactly like its
transformation into charcoal; , viz., a true slow burning, and a
carbonisation. It is then necessary to conceive the formation of the
coal as the result of half-aerial, half-watery vegetation, exactly that
of our present peat-bogs. This is the simplest and the most natural way
to explain the formation of the coal; and the affinity is so evident
that it is scarcely possible to understand how it has been so long
overlooked. Naturalists have, one after another, habituated their minds
to construct systems and hypotheses which the simplest observations
destroy, and have forgotten to look at the work of nature, whirls is
always the same, immutable in its laws as in everything that is great
If this were the place, we would like to explain at length our views
about this analogy of formations now pointed out, and compare minutely
the old formation of the coal with the new ones, or with the peat-bogs,
which are nothing but beds of coal not entirely ripe or burned out. We
would have to mention some very interesting and striking analogies, such
as the presence of bitumen in both formations. It has always been
asserted that bitumen could not proceed from plants, and it is now
everywhere obtained by the distillation of peat. We would show the
identity of the geographical distribution of both formations, though it
has been long asserted that the peat formation belongs to a cold
climate, and the coal to a warm one; also the affinity of form in their
plants, the leaves of which are nearly all either grass-like or small,
pointed, and like needles, both forms particularly adapted, it seems, to
the absorption of the vapours, and the transformation of carbonic acid
in woody matter, and show the large amount of wood in the plants of our
peat-bogs, even in the mosses (sphagna), which, though very fragile,
soft, and thread-like plants, have a larger proportion of woody matter
than the hardest and largest of trees. [All these facts have been stated at length in Recherches sur lee Depots tourbeux en general, by the author of this report.]
This analogy of formation being
established, we do not see any reason to theorise about the general
of the period of the coal-formation. It is useless to experiment on a
large account of plants of our time---especially plants living in
conditions that render their presence impossible in the coal-formation,
to draw hereafter any conclusions about the number of species of plants
living in former ages. It has been already observed by Mr. Bunbury, that
the careful observations of Mr. Lindley on the length of time which some
plants may stand immersed in water without losing their form, cannot
help in any way to our acquaintance with the flora of the coal. We will
here only mention that if the same experiments had been performed
only on the plants of our peat-bogs, the conclusions would have been
more rational. We take an example from the family of the mosses. Mr
Lindley has experimented on six species, viz. Hypnum striatum, Hypnum
sericeum, Dicranum purpureum, Dicranum scoparium, Bryum undulatum, Polytrichum
commune. The natural function of all these species of mosses is to
cover the base of the trees, or their decayed parts, either to protect
the roots, or to form the black earth or humus by their decay. So they
are quickly-decaying species. The true mosses of the peat-bogs are the
Sphagnum, all the species; some Hypna, especially Hypnum trifarium, Hypnum
fluitans, Hypnum scorpioides, Hypnum niteus; some species of Dicranum, as Dicranum
Schraderi, Dicranum palustre, &c.; and certainly if these mosses, with
the bog-rushes (Junci) and the sedges (Carices) of the peat, were
subjected to the same experiments, the result would prove very
different. We have found in the peat-bogs of Switzerland some beds of
Hypnum trifarium under 10 feet of entirely black and decomposed peat,
which were so well preserved that the species could be perfectly and
easily identified. We have also received specimens of Hypnum fluitans
found in Berlin, under 50 feet of sand and water, which are in as good
condition as if they had been preserved in a collection of dry plants.
To elucidate this point, and to show what is the vegetation of the
peat-bogs of Europe, and what relation this vegetation may have with
that of the coal-formation, we will translate a passage from the work
already quoted on the formation of the peat-bogs, (page 131, quarto
|"The analogy is not the less remarkable, if we consider the classes of
plants which have formed both combustible substances. Mr A. Brongniart
found in the old coal—(a) About ten species of fucoides. This family of
plants is the same as the Fucaciae of our time, which are marine plants
found in great abundance in the peat-bogs of the north.** (1) About
nineteen species of the Horse-tail family, or Equisetaceae. The species
of the same class were at one time very abundant in the ditches of the
peat-bogs. The family of the Characeae, a near relative to the former,
is most abundantly found in the standing water of the marshes. (c) More
than one hundred and twenty species of ferns, and nearly seventy species
of lycopodiaceae, cryptogamic vascular plants, which might be referred
to on account of a likeness in tissue and growth to our cryptogamic
cellular plants. Our peat-bogs have also more than seventy species of
mosses, five or six species of lycopodiaceae, and as many species of
ferns. (d) Eighteen or twenty species of palm-trees, reeds, and
phanerogamous monocotyledonous plants ; and our peat-bogs are now
essentially a compound of such plants, sedges, grasses, and reeds,
&c. The trees that are now living on our peat-bogs—viz. the pines,
the birches, &c.—probably take the place of the large series of palm
and fern-trees of the marshes of the Old World. And as is the case in
the coal-beds, where no well-characterised remains of dycotyledonous
plants are found, so in the peat it is impossible to find any trace of
the few dycotyledonous plants living on the marshes, except perhaps some
trunks of trees."
The above was written ten years ago; since then the paleontology of the
plants has made very great progress, and a great many new species have
been discovered. Nevertheless, this analogy in the vegetation of both
formations, viz. the coal and the peat, has become more and more
evident. It is a peculiar flora, evidently adapted to a peculiar
purpose, which in its study ought to be looked at in its entireness, and
without any relation to the vegetation of any other part of the
Such being the case, our task of comparison between both the coal-floras
of Europe and America becomes an easy one, and we shall easily show
what is the value of the conclusion of a celebrated English geologist [Mr. Banbury.]:
|"Whereas, it appears that of all the fossil plants which have hitherto
been procured from the carboniferous deposits of these regions (British
America), a great majority are undistinguishable from British species,
it is ell known that the recent vegetation of Pennsylvania, Maryland,
and Ohio, is altogether of a different type from that of Europe."
In the peat-bogs of North America, ordinarily named cedar swamps, there
are first about twenty species of mosses of which the growth directly
contributes to the formation of the peat. They are:
and 19. Hypnum paludosum, Fult.
|1. Sphagnum cymbifolium, Ehrh.
||6. Sphagnum compactum, Bred.
||11. Meesia tristicha, Br. and Schp.
||14. Hypnum curdifolium, Hedw.
|2. Sphagnum squarrosum, W. and M.
||7. Sphagnum contortum, Schultz
|| ** Aulacomnium
Schraderi, W. and M.
||12. Hypnum trifarium, W. and M.
||16. Hypnum fluitans, S.
|4. Sphagnum acutifolium, Ehrh.
||9. Dicranum palustre, Br. and Schp.
||13. Hypnum stramineum,
||17. Hypnum aduncum, S.
|5. Sphagnum cuspidatum, Ehrh.
|| ** Hypnum niteus, Hedw.
|** Since writing this opinion, we have had an opportunity of exploring the
peat-bogs of the north of Europe, in Sweden, Denmark, and Holland, and
have not been able to find any trace of a true bed of peat formed by
marine plants or fucus. And since that time, also, both the explorations
of other authors and our own have clearly proved that there is not any
true fucoid plant in the coal, and that all the impressions which were
supposed to belong to such marine plants represent either the roots of
some vegetable, or some new species far removed from the
Of these species the last one only is peculiar as an American plant, all
the others, without exception, have the same plan, the same
destination, and are found in the same abundance in the peat-bogs of
Europe. There are many other species of mosses which are growing only on
the peat, but which do not claim a large share in the combustible
|1. Splachnum ampullaceum, S.
Dicranum cerviculatum, Hedw.
||5. Hypnum phatense, Koch
|2. Polytrichum gracile, Meux
||4. Hypnum cuspidatum, S.
||6. Hypnum filicinum, S.
All species found also on both continents in the same places.
Coming to the ferns in ascending the grades of the vegetable kingdom, we find in the marshes of America:
|1. Woodwardia Virginica, Willd.
||*4. Dryopteris cristata, Adam
||7. Osmunda Cinnamomea, S.
|*2. Dryopteris thelypteris, Adam
Ophioglossum vulgatum, S.
|3. Dryopteris Noreboracensis, Adam
||6. Osmunda Claytoniana, S.
||*9. Lycopodium inundatum, S.
Seven of these species could scarcely be distinguished from their
European relatives, if they were found in a fossil state, so great is
their likeness, and five of them are entirely identical with these.*
|* Moreover, the species of the ferns and Sycopodes of America
have in general the greatest likeness to those of Europe.
The sedges and grasses are distributed also in the same proportion. We
will enumerate only the American species, with a mark (*) for those which
are found on both continents:
| 1. Narthecium Americanum, Re.,
(scarcely distinguishable from the European
Narthecium ossifraga, Lamark.)
|* 12. Scirpus pungens, Vahl.
||* 22. Carex pauciflora, Ligth.
||* 32. Carex filiformis, L.
|* 2. Juncus efusus, L.
|| 13. Scirpus Torreyi, Oln.
(scarcely distinguishable from Scirpus
mucronatus of Europe.)
| 23. Carex polytrichoides, Muhl.
|| 33. Carex ianoginosa, Michx.,
from the former.)
|* 3. Juncus maritimus, L.
||* 14. Scirpus lacustris, L.
||* 24. Carex teretiusculo, Good.
|| 34. Carex folliculata, L.
|* 4. Juncus acuminatus, Michx.
||* 15. Eriophorum alpinum, L.
||* 25. Carex paniculata, L.
|| 35. Leersia oryxoides,
| 5. Juncus molitaris, Bigel.
||* 16. Eriophorum
||* 26. Carex
|| 36. Leersia Virginica, Willd.
|* 6. Juncus stygius,
||* 17. Eriophorum gracile, Koch
||* 27. Carex graciiis, Ehrh.
|| 37. Glyceria Canadensis, Trin.
|* 7. Juncus bufonius, L.
||* 18. Rhynchospora alba, Vahl.
|| 28. Carex trisperma, Der.
|| 38. Glyceria nervata, Trin.
| 8. Xiris bulbosa, Kunth.
(a truly American
species, without analogues in Europe.)
| 19. Rhynchospora capillacea, Torr.
||* 29. Carex stellulata, Good.
||* 39. Glyceria aquatica, Smith
|* 9. Eleocharis palustris, R.
|| 20. Cladium mariscoides, Torr.
(very near Cladium
mariscus of Europe.)
|* 30. Carex limosa,
(and its variety, Carex irrigua, Smith.)
|* 40. Glyceria fluitans, R.
|x 11. Scirpus caespitosus, L.
||* 21. Carex dioica, L.
||* 31. Carex Buxbaumi, Wahl.
||* 41. Pragmites communis, Trin.
To the flora we would have to add:
The Typhaceae, *Typha latifoila and *Typha angustifolia, some Sparganium (burr reeds) and Potamogeton (pond
weed), species identical to both continents; and for the trees: *Abies alba, Michx.; Larix Americana, Michx., so near Larix Europea that it
only differs by slender and shorter leaves; Taxodium distichum growing
in the southern swamps; and a few willows and other dycotyledonous
plants, of which the remains are not preserved, or at least never
recognisable, as the Utricularia, of which the species are also
identical in Europe and in America; Nymphaea adorata, Act., very like
Nymphaea alba of Europe; *Nuphar lutea, Smith; Sarracenia purpurea,
S., truly American ; *Viola palustris, S.; *Drosere rotundifolia, S.; *Drosere longifolia, S.; *Parnassia palustres, S.; Janguisorba
Canadensis, S.; *Comarum palustre, S.; *Vaccinium oxicoccos, S.; Vaccinium
macrocarpon, Act., distinguishable from the former only by the fruit;
*Chiogenes hispidula, Torr. Sq.; *Andromeda polifolia, S.; *Veronica
sartellata, S.; *Scutellaria galericulata, S.; *Calla palustris, S.;
*Scheuchyeria palustris, S. There is only a very great difference in
the family of the Orchideae, of which the American peat-bogs have a few
very beautiful species entirely different from the European. But this
family is the most polymorphous in its distribution, and cannot by
itself be taken for a general comparison of a flora. The trees also have
some more species which cannot be compared; but a great many of them,
the birches and the alders, are nearly alike. How, then, is it possible
to assert that two floras of about 100 species, which have more than
seventy entirely identical forms, and ten or fifteen more very nearly
alike, are altogether of a diferent type? We must necessarily adopt a
contrary conclusion. The type of the flora of the peat-bogs is
everywhere the same; and if we had time to pursue our comparison, we
would prove it easily, as well from our explorations in the great bogs
Southern Virginia, as from the observations of travellers in the
The same identity of type is altogether evident in both the Palaeozoic
floras of America and of Europe. We remark in them the same analogy and
the same difference, a great many species entirely identical, many so
related that their differences are pointed out only with great
difficulty, and a few entirely different. This will evidently appear in
the examination of our described species; and we are necessarily led to
1. That at the time of the coal-formation the floras of both continents
had the same analogy and the same difference that they have now.
2. That both continents were, as they are now, separated and distinct.
3. That both were respectively under the same atmospherical influences.
4. That nothing can authorise us to admit these atmospherical influences as very different from what they are now.
This last assertion, so far different from the conclusions of other celebrated geologists, necessarily needs some explanations.
It has been long asserted, as we have already said, that the peat-bog
formation belongs particularly to cold-climates, and that the
preservation of the woody matter is essentially due to low temperature.
Our researches in Europe on this subject have already proved that this
is not the case, and that the area of the peat-bogs occupies exactly the
same latitudes as that of the oldest coal-formations. And since we have
been enabled to pursue the same exploration in America, we have found on
this continent exactly the same distribution. For in this country the
peat-bogs are found from far above the northern shores of Lake Superior,
as high as 60° of latitude, to the great Dismal Swamp in South
Virginia at 35° of latitude [Vide
Recherches sur les Marais tourbeux en general.], exactly in the same latitudes as are occupied by the
great coal basins of America. We have made on this subject very long researches,
and we have never obtained specimens of a true coal in the Northern
hemisphere from Southern latitudes. The beds of coal mentioned in Texas
and the coal of Brazil, are only beds of lignite; a formation entirely
different from that of the coal, independent of any peculiar formation,
and so without any geological interest.
But those immense trunks of trees, perhaps of fern trees, to which we
find an affinity only in the tropical regions, how is it possible to
account for their vegetation in our latitude, if we do not admit of a
great change of temperature ?
1. In the peat-bogs of Northern countries,
of Denmark, Sweden, and also in Switzerland, we find sometimes, heaped
in very thick strata, much larger trunks of trees than those which have
been found in the coal. The following is a description given, in 1846,
of a peat-bog which we visited near Waldsmarslund, 30 miles above
Copenhagen [Vide Explorations dans le Nord de l'Europe, pour l'êtude des
Depots de Combustibles mineraux. LEO LESQUEREUX; Neuchatel, 1846; p.
|"These deposits of wood are a true forest heaped upon
another, and buried in the peat, which in these marshes (of Denmark)
are found everywhere with alternating beds of the same species of trees.
At the bottom, upon a bed of peat from 4 to 6 feet thick, are
pine-trees, lying flat, nearly always in the same direction as the
inclination of the basin, viz. the roots against the borders. These
pine-trees are ordinarily frees 6 to 10 inches in diameter; they have
their slightest branches preserved, and are imbedded in a mass of their
own leaves, cones, mushrooms, &c., of which the form is not at all
altered. Upon these pines is a bed of black peat from 5 to 6 feet thick,
overlaid by a forest of prostrated white birches. Upon the birches
there is again 6 feet of less-decomposed peat, covered with enormous
trunks of oaks, which have no less than 3 feet of diameter, and of which
the wood is so well preserved that it is sawed on the place, and used
for building-material. The matter or peat in which these trees are
buried does not preserve any trace of the leaves of these oaks, but only
some acorns. It is evident, nevertheless, that they have grown on the
place where they are found, being preserved in their integrity with
their smallest branches and their bark. These trees are covered by from 6
to 8 feet of peat, in which, or upon which, is found sometimes a
fourths forest of trees, and this time, of beech-trees, the same trees
that now form the forest around." [ It is well to remember that in Europe the forests have not so many
species of trees as in America, and are ordinarily composed of a single
species, or seldom of two or three.]
The size of the trunks buried
in the peat-bogs is, as is easily seen from the above description, in
favour of our present formations. In the Dismal Swamp in Virginia, we
have seen in the peat trunks of Magnolia measuring more than 100 feet,
without great diminution in their diameter.
2. The trees of the coal,
which, like Lepidodendron, Sigillaria, and Stigmaria, are ordinarily
ascribed to a genus of planets like the ferns, and so to fern-trees,
were not true ferns, but a peculiar species of plants, of which we leave
no living representatives, and of which the nearest relatives are the
Lycopodiaceae, a genus of plants of which the largest species known are
living in the peat-bogs and the forests of our Northern hemisphere. The
true fern-trees (Caulopteris) are very scarce in the coal; their
diameter does not appear to be large; and if this class of vegetables
does truly belong now to the tropical regions, it is well to remember
that they are especially found in a very wet atmosphere, either on the
small islands or on the highest mountains of Java, either on large
marshes or on the borders of shallow and muddy lakes, where the
temperature is certainly not the cause of their presence.
3. It is
generally known how great is the influence of the dryness of the
atmosphere on its temperature. We have only to compare the climate of
the evergreen Ireland with that of the central part of Europe under the
same latitude, to ascertain what difference this atmospheric agent
makes on the vegetation. The best proof we could afford of it is the
presence of large trunks of oak-trees at the bottom of the peat-bogs of
Switzerland, in valleys many hundred feet above the oak region, and
consequently where now there are only some forests of pines. Since the
clearing of these valleys, and the draining of the land, the climate has
perhaps not become colder, generally speaking, but the extremities of
temperature are more distant; colder in the winter, with a stronger
heat in the summer. Every one knows, that it is precisely the degree of
this difference which regulates the vegetation of a country.
It is, then, sufficient to give us the reason of the difference in the
type of vegetation between the coal period and our own, to admit that
the continents were less extended, and only low islands entirely covered
But all the physical phenomena of our time were then in activity. We
find upon the red shales of the Umbral series the evident marks of
drops of rain and of hail; the cracks also caused by dryness under the
action of the sun upon the mud. We have in the small horizontal layers
of the coal, of which the thickness scarcely attains the twelfth part of
an inch, the proof of an annual decay, and of an annual heaping of the
plants exactly as we find it in the peat. What more is wanted to
authorise the conclusion, that our world has not changed its course
since the formation of the coal---that the hypotheses of a displacement of
the axis of the earth, of great and sudden commotion, of extraordinary
temperature, of nebulous atmosphere, and the like, have not any basis on
known facts ? Our human race is young, but the world lived long before
it, and has not changed its revolutions expressly for our purpose. Truly
nature has prepared our home. It has heaped, for the future welfare of
our race, those inexhaustible beds of combustibles that afford us so
much comfort; but it has done this without any miracle, without any of
those sudden transitions which we are so prone to discover for the
satisfaction of our own pride.
As it is, nevertheless, this coal-formation is an admirable one; and we
can look to it only with wonder and with faith to an overruling and
provident Director. For this heaping of combustible matter was by itself
nothing but a useless proceeding. The bed to put it in was to be prepared, a
long time in advance, by a thick layer of clay, to prevent the egress
and the dispersion of the bitumen after its separation from the woody
matter. It required also an impermeable covering to prevent too strong
an action of the oxygen, and the mingling of sand and other strange
matters, which would have entirely changed its combustible property.
This, as well as the formation of irons, which is also ordinarily in
progress with the formation of the peat-bogs, has been obtained by the
simplest laws and the slow progress of nature. The places where these
formations were progressing have been subjected to some slow and
periodical upheavals and depressions, which are, remarked even at our
time on the sea-shores of some countries—of Holland and of Sweden. By
these slow depressions, the water, saturated with iron, has first
covered the beds of combustible matter, and deposited these particles
for the formation of the shales; a greater depression has given access
to a strong current of water, which has heaped the sand upon the shales,
and so, by a repetition of the movement, the woody matter has been
formed, then enclosed, then heaped in different beds one upon another;
preserved from decomposition, or from the influence of the atmosphere;
transformed into coal by the slow disengagement of the gas, and the high
temperature of the earth. [Liebig has given the history of the chemical process of the formation of coal in his Chemical Physiology.]
To close the few observations that we are entitled to make here, it is
necessary to give an explanation of some local phenomena, of which the
causes are still in discussion.
The appearance of the trunks preserved in the coal-shales and in the
sandstone is very different. In the sandstone the trees have left an
impression of their whole external surface in its primitive form; but
they have not left anything else except this impression, and the whole
primitive substance has been destroyed, or transformed either into silex
or into limestone. In the shales, on the contrary, and immediately
above the coal, the woody matter of the trees is preserved, transformed
into coal; but the primitive form is entirely changed, the trees
having been flattened, and having left only the impression of this
flattened surface, as if the bark alone had been preserved and pressed
together. We have seen that the wood exposed to the action of the oxygen
of the air is slowly but entirely rotted and destroyed. The air, having
access through the particles of sand, produces by-and-by this result on
all the wood buried in it. Nevertheless the sand around the wood is
by-and-by hardened, and the stony substances — either sand, or carbonate
of lime, or silex — penetrate all the destroyed part of the wood in
such a manner, that, following the circumstance, the vegetable is
mouldered into some of these substances. At Carbondale and Greensburg the
trees in the sandstone are transformed into sandstone, and their tissues
entirely destroyed. At Gallipolis and Athens they are silicified or
transformed into limestone, and the silex only has preserved the form of
the vessels of the wood. We cannot give any explanation of the
petrification of organic substances; it is still an unexplained
mystery. Who could tell how it happens that, in the same bed of
sandstone, and exactly in contact with each other, we find, as at
Gallipolis, two trees, one of which is transformed into limestone, the
other crystallised, or entirely silicified ? We have seen also that when
the action of the oxygen of the atmosphere is nearly prevented, the
woody matter is slowly burned into coal. This proceeding does not come
to its end without a great many changes. One of these modifications is
the transformation of the woody matter into a soft black mud, most
easily flattened by the compression of the superior strata. Sometimes,
when water is abundant, this black mud becomes nearly fluid; and as the
bark of the trees is preserved by its tannin, it is not only flattened,
but folded into a very thin space. We have seen some beautiful
illustrations of these changes in Germany and Denmark. Near Leipsic
there is a bed of lignite, formed of large trunks heaped about 15 feet
thick. The matter is entirely soft, and all the trunks flattened,
measuring in one direction scarcely half the diameter that they have
crosswise. It is also entirely black, and yields an excellent fuel. It
is extracted with shovels, like the peat, after its surface has been
laid bare, from 20 feet of sand and gravel lying upon it. In Denmark,
about 20 miles below Copenhagen, near the sea-shore, there is an
extensive plain covered with the finest grass, and affording excellent
pasture to large herds of cattle. By digging there they find, under 1
foot of humus, a bed of peat (?), entirely composed of bark of birches.
This bark is heaped 6 feet thick, and closely packed and flattened. It
is first dug or cut out, and dried in long rollers, entirely void of
earthy matter. The woody matter, nearly fluid, or transformed into a
very soft yellow mud, is at the bottom of these beds, and is then taken
out of the excavations with buckets, then put on layers of straw,
through which the water percolates; and when thickened, it is beaten
hard, dried, and burnt like coal.
It happens sometimes, as we have seen at Carbondale, that standing
petrified trees are found in the sandstone of the Coal-measures. This
accident is easily accounted for, as soon as we admit it only in the
sandstone or in the shales of the coal. For if the sand carried by water
has been quickly deposited in great thickness, all the trees growing on
the marshes have been imbedded in it, and preserved in a standing
position. But when this occurrence is reported, of trees having their
roots below a bed of coal, crossing the coal, and penetrating the
sandstone above, we can but pronounce this fact an impossibility, for it
is against the laws of nature. It requires very little acquaintance
with botanical physiology to understand that trees can never grow when
their roots are covered with standing water, or with a stratum of matter
impenetrable to the atmosphere. Hence it happens that all the
trees—pines, firs, cedars, willows, &c.—living on a marsh, or on a
cedar swamp, have their roots horizontally expanded, and as near the
surface as possible. Hence also the necessity for the coal trees being
supported by such creeping roots as the Stigmariae. When a tree is
covered by a bed of decayed woody matter and by water, it soon dies, and
rots immediately above the water, where the humidity and the oxygen of
the atmosphere have free access. From this cause, all the trees decaying
or dead on the peat-bogs are very soon prostrated.
It is also, we think, a very false idea of the growth of the vegetable
matter of the coal-beds, to believe that a tree, even in the most
favourable conditions, could stand as long a time as it was needed for
the formation of even a thin bed of coal. It is not a century, but
thousands of years, that have been required to heap a bed of coal of a
few feet of thickness. In the bituminous coal of Ohio the annual growth
of the coal is well marked by the thin layers, which are about 1-12th of
an inch in thickness; so, such beds of coal as the Pittsburgh Seam
would have required for their formation a period of time of about 1500
A peculiar phenomenon has been observed in England, and may also attract
the observation of the naturalists of America. Sometimes, in the
internal part of the petrified trees of the Coal-measures, one finds an
abundance of fruits and leaves of the same species—viz. Lepidostrobi—in
the trunks of Lepidodendra. We have had a striking explanation of this
in our last visit to the Dismal Swamp, on the shores of Drummond Lake.
We went there to compare the formation of the peat in its Southern
latitude, and found it entirely identical with the same formation in the
cedar swamps of the North. The only difference consists in other
species of sphagna, and other species of trees, and in the undergrowth
of canes, which form there an impenetrable thicket. In the middle of
this marsh there has been a depression filled with water, and which has
formed Drummond Lake. Its depth is about 15 feet only, and its bottom is
covered with prostrated trees—a fact that proves that it has been
formed by depression of a surface primitively extending over a sheet of
water, and covering it. This formation is of very frequent occurrence in
the North of Europe and of America. Around the lake grows the bald
cypress (Taxodium distichum), and sometimes the trees are half-covered
with water, and decaying in such a manner that their standing trunks are
entirely hollow. The fruits and leaves of the trees around, falling
into the water of the lake, and drifted here and there, are arrested by
the hollows of these trees, and fill them almost entirely. If these
trees were imbedded in sand, and by-and-by petrified, they would exhibit
exactly a repetition of the phenomenon alluded to, of fruits and leaves
found in the trunks of their own trees. There are many other similar
phenomena of the Coal-measures, which would find an easy explanation
from detailed description of the formation of our actual peat-bogs. But
we have already exceeded the limits assigned to us in this paper, and
shall refer for further details to the books mentioned above.
|DESCRIPTION OF THE FOSSIL PLANTS FOUND IN THE ANTHRACITIC AND BITUMINOUS
COAL-MEASURES OF PENNSYLVANIA.
By LEO LESQUEREUX.
|Though I do not assent to some of the theoretical views maintained in
this ingenious Essay, nor accept some of the statements, as that the
Paleozoic coal-formation does not extend beyond the latitudes embracing
the existing peat-bogs, I must thank the author for the amount of
accurate and curious information which it contains.
H. D. ROGERS.
|Among the plants here described, only a very small
number have been found beyond the limits of Pennsylvania. They are
mentioned for the peculiar interest they present, either in their form,
or in their geological position. The greater number of these fossils
were collected by ourselves. A few of them, nevertheless, were studied
in the rich and beautiful cabinets of Mr. Clarkson at Carbondale, and
the Rev. W. Moore of Greensburg. Both these gentlemen gave us, with the
greatest kindness, the liberty of copying and describing all the new
plants in their possession. With great pleasure we take this opportunity
of returning them our thanks. Though there is much to say upon the
classification of fossil plants, we are not at liberty, in such a work
as this, to enter into long scientific discussions upon the value of the
genera as they are now established. We have followed the classification
adopted by the best European authors, especially by Brongniart.
Nevertheless, as no general description of these fossil plants of
America has appeared till now, and as ninny of our naturalists may look
to this enumeration for a direction of their researches, we have thought
it necessary to append some general remarks as often as our views do
not correspond with the opinions of the high authorities mentioned.
Except Polyporites Bowmanni, Lindl., no discernible trace of any kind of
mushroom has been found in the coal. Very often the stems of the ferns
are covered with elevated points of different size, which closely
resemble the small Thyponileae of our time, especially the Spheriae. But
it is not possible to ascertain if such marks left on the stems have
anything organic in their nature, or are only accidental. That they are
very often produced by accident, is proved by their presence on
different plants, and on different parts of the vegetables—even on some
slates, where there is not any trace of vegetable impressions. The
points are especially observable in the coal-basin of Trevorton, where
coal-slates—even the slates which do not appear to have contained any
bituminous matter—are full of vesicles, from the size of a needle's head
to the size of a pea. They are filled with a brown powder, which to the
naked eye has exactly the same appearance as the spores of the
Spheriae, but which, when looked at with a strong microscope, does not
present any trace of organisation. It is only a very inflammable
bituminous matter. The appearance of those small cells may show the
operation of transformation of coal to anthracite. In the
half-anthracite coal, the ebullition did not proceed far enough to
accomplish the ejection of the gas. A great part of the vesicles were
only formed, but did not burst before the cooling of the matter; hence,
perhaps, these cells.
As for Polyporites Bowmanni, we have found it exactly as described by
Lindley, and cannot but admit it to be a true fungus. It is easily
discernible by its concentric zones or
lines, and its surface thickly perforated with small points. It is,
however, very different from Carpolithes umbonatus, Sternb., to which M.
Brongniart has compared it.
After a careful examination of all the specimens
reported to belong to this class of plants, we do not find a single
sea-weed in the Coal-measures of Pennsylvania. Many species of Algae are
found below the coal, especially, in the Clinton group, where they are
accompanied by marine shells—Brachiopodes, Crinoides, and some
Acephales—but in higher formations they by-and-by disappear altogether,
and all the so-called Fucoides of the Ponent and of the Vespertine
formations are either roots or stems of other plants. Certainly many of
these roots closely resemble those of Fucoides. The branches are short,
obtuse, very numerous, without order, either simple or branching again,
without any perceptible diminution in their thickness, from one end to
the other. But we find exactly the same appearance at present in many
roots dipping in water, where they extend and branch in every direction,
in shape sometimes like a thick bunch of twine. The best proof of our
opinion being right is, that we have found many of the so-called
Fucoides attached to the stem. We have made drawings of the most
interesting of them (see Pinnularia, Plate XVII), only to show how
carefully we have to proceed in the study of these fossil remains.
The same may be said about seine-thread-like, hard, shining vegetable
remains found in great abundance on the slates of the coal around
Pottsville, and mentioned also as occurring in the coal-basins of
England and France. They were supposed to belong to the Conferves, or
fresh-water Fucoides; but besides their tubular form, there is nothing
to sustain this supposition. They vary in thickness from a
hair's-breadth to one sixteenth of an inch in diameter, and appear
ordinarily piled one upon another, without any general order. As they
are never flattened, and do not present any trace of articulation or of
ramification, it is not possible to compare them with the Conferves,
these being very weak and brittle plants, of which there could not
exist, any trace in the vicinity of the coal where the materials were
long time exposed to decomposition. They are found sometimes even in the
coal itself. They are without doubt the true roots or fibrous
appendages attached either to the subterraneous or creeping stems of the
ferns, and generally named Rootstocks. Their description belongs to the
genus Pinnularia (which see). Fucoides dentatus and Fucoides serra
(Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., p. 70, t. 6, fig. 9), found in the older
Paleozoic limestone of Canada, evidently belong to the genus
Graptolites, and so are out of the vegetable kingdom. We have found a
single specimen of these fossils in the greenish sandstone of the Ponent
rocks near Trevorton. But they have been found in great abundance in
the State of New York, and have been closely described by Professor Hall
in his Geological Report.
|The only true Fucoides that we have to describe belong to the following genus:
|I. CHONDRITES, Sternb.—Frond cartilaginous, thread-form, dichotomous; branches cylindrical, but flattened in the impressions.
|Chondrites antiquus, Sternb.;
Hall (Paleont. of New York). —
Frond bipinnately forking; branches and
branchlets diverging, inflated at the forks, branchlets linear, obtuse.
Habitat: Very abundant in the Sargent group at Bloomsburg, and at the base of the
Alleghany Mountain, below Portage Summit.
|Chondrites Fargionis, Sternb., Vers. II., p. 25.
bipinnately branching; branches elongated, linear, obtuse, entire or
Var. A, fastigiatus; frond straight, erect,
irregularly pinnately divided; branches linear, simple, or branching.
Var. B, dicaricatus; frond irregularly pinnate; branches diverging,
Var. C, confertus; frond erect, densely pinnately branching;
branches filiform, unequal.—Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 56.
Habitat: Same locality as the first.
This plant, as described by Sternberg and Brongniart, was found at
different places in the cretaceous formations of Europe. Such a
difference in the stations would lead us to suppose that our American
plant is a different one. Nevertheless, as we find not only the typical
form, but also the varieties as they are figured and described, we are
not at liberty to change the name, and to admit it as a new plant. We
have figured our specimens to give opportunity for a close comparison
(Plate XVII, figs. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17).
We cannot point out any
characteristic marks to describe this genus. It has been preserved for
the classification of some organic remains of which the indefinite forms
do not clearly indicate an affinity with any known genus of sea-weeds.
The two American species generally admitted in this genus have more the
general appearance of some corals than that of Fucoides. We had an
opportunity of studying them in great number, and in as good a state of
preservation as it is possible to find them. They are very numerous in
the sandstone of the Levant white sandstone series of the Juniata River,
below Lewistown and above Huntingdon, where they cover some rocks of
very large size. Ordinarily palmately branching, their branches, 1 to 3
inches in thickness, are transversely undulated, cylindrical, or nearly
square, and incurved on one side like a half-closed hand. As their
substance is completely transformed into coarse sandstone, their form is
generally obscure, and it is not possible to ascertain their true
II. FUCOIDES, Harlan.
Though we do not admit these Fucoides as vegetable remains, we give the description of the two species as indicated by Harlan.
|Fucoides Alleghaniensis, Harl., Medic. Physic. Res., p.
Frond compressed, wrinkled, recurved, obtuse; branches unequal,
digitate or fastigiate, without nerves, canaliculate in the middle.
|Fucoides Brongniarti, Harl.
Frond large; branches nearly
square, wrinkled across, compressed, and recurved.
Probably this species
is only a variety of the first.
In the introduction to this memoir, we mentioned our
views about the distribution of the plants of this class, their mode of
growing, and their participation in the present formation of the mineral
combustibles. We can neither describe nor indicate a single species of
moss found in the coal; but nevertheless we think that those plants were
living with the ferns at the time of the coal-formation, and that we
have found specimens belonging to the genus Sphagnum. They are in
thin, yellow, very light slates, from the roof of the Gate Vein at
Pottsville, looking exactly like pasteboard, entirely covered with
faintly discernible, very small impressions, and crossed in every
direction by flattened thread-like stems. The peat formed by the
decomposition of the Sphagnum presents exactly the same appearance.
The plants of this class, though found in great
abundance in the Coal-measures, present a great difficulty in their
examination ; not only because they are always found in broken
fragments, but because these fragments have never hitherto been found in
such a state of preservation that their internal structure can be
closely observed. These fragments also, though often belonging to the
same species, present the greatest difference in their forms. We shall
unite in this class, as M. Unger did, the Calamites, Equisetites,
Wolkmannia, Asterophyllites, Sphenophyllum, and Annularia, without being
certain, either that this place is the true one to which they belong,
or that all the genera above mentioned belong to the same class.
That the Asterophyllites, as, Messrs Lindley and Hutton supposed, are
the branches of some species of Calamites, appears without a doubt. The
external form, the leaves, the mode of branching, and the
fructification, are perfectly visible in the small branches (vide Plate
I, fig. 1, la, 2, 3), and may be sometimes followed in larger
specimens. But these plants did not bear leaves, fruit, and branches,
except when they began unfolding, or at their summits. Branches and
leaves falling easily, the stumps were left entirely naked except at
their summits, and, growing up, they enlarged themselves with the scars
of the branches, and of the fruit, as is the case in indigenous plants.
They may be compared in their mode of growing to some kinds of canes or
bamboo. They were probably annual stems, with a very rapid growth; they
became very high—from 30 to 60 feet—but not very broad, from 3 to 6
inches in diameter and could consequently stand very near each other, and
give, by their annual decay, a very large amount of material for the
We have said that their place in the series of plants is
undetermined. By their external form, they are evidently near the
Equisetaceae; but the fructification would indicate, as M. Brongniart
has thought, that they belong to some kind of conifers related to the
genus Tanus or Yew. As is apparent in our figure (Plate
I, figs. 1, 2,
4), these plants were either diaecious or monaecious. The male flowers
were terminal, and composed of an ear of appressed scales or united
leaves enclosing or supporting above them, small round cells, containing
a pulverulent matter, probably the pollen (Brongniart, Tableau, p. 49).
The true fruits—small, round, or obovate capsules—were born around the
stems on the axils of the leaves, as indicated (Plate I, figs. 1, 2),
and, by falling off, they left the scars ordinarily apparent around the
stems of the calamites on the articulations—an organisation which is
truly, like that of some conifers.
Annularia and Sphenophyllum certainly belong to plants
of quite another mode of growth. By the disposition of their leaves,
which are always seen on a horizontal plane, they appear to have lived
either on the water or on the mud, like our Ayala Caroliniana, or more
like the Callitriche, branching from the axil of the leaves, and
extending in every direction. They have been compared to a phanogamous
plant, the Gallium, but without any reason at all. The fructification of
the Sphenophyllum much resembles that of the Asterophyllites, the ears
only being smaller. It has been examined and described by M. Gutbier;
but it is questionable if the ears represent the true fruit, or only the
male flowers of these plants. The fructification of the Annularia has
never been observed, but we think that it is attached under and around
the leaves, as in the ferns. In the specimen represented, Plate
5, the leaves are emarginate, slightly revolute on the margins, and
perhaps this form is the fertile frond; the sterile one, with flat and
pointed leaves, being figured in Plate
I, Fig. 5, a.
Many authors have supposed that Asterophyllites were the
same plants as Sphenophyllum, floating partly immersed in water,
becoming Sphenophyllum and enlarging the leaves when coming out of the
liquid element. We cannot admit this opinion; but nevertheless we
believe that Sphenophyllum, like all the plants which are living in
water, have had different modifications of their leaves, without losing
their general appearance. Our Sphenophyllum trifoliatum, Plate
7, is probably one of those abnormal forms which approach to an
Stems cylindrical, furrowed
lengthwise, articulated, furrows either alternating or converging at the
articulations; leaves encircling the stem like an open sheath;
ramification either regular or irregular from the articulation scars of
tubercles ? marked above or below the point of attachment of the leaves.
Calamites decoratus, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., vol.
i. p. 123, t. 14, Fig. 1-5.
Stem cylindrical; articulations distant
above (1 to 2 inches); approached below; ribs convex and thick;
Habitat: South Salem coal, Pottsville.
Calamites Suckowii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., vol.
i. p. 124, t. 15, Figs. 1-6.
Stem cylindrical, thick; articulations
variable in length; ribs one-eighth of an inch broad, either convex,
obtuse, or reeled; tubercles small ovate.
Of this species we have two
Var. A has the articulations distant, and the tubercles
Habitat: It is very abundant around Carbondale, where it forms a true
forest of standing Calamites; the diameter of the stumps varies from 3
to 4 inches.
Var. B has the ribs nearly plane, and the tubercles placed
below and above the articulations.
Habitat: We found one specimen at the Gate
Vein of Pottsville.
Calamites ramosus, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., vol.
i. p. 127, t. 17, Figs. 5, 6.
Stems cylindrical, with distant
articulations, bearing a half-spherical tumour at the base of solitary
branches, with a hemispherical cavity on the articulation; ribs plane,
one-eighth of an inch broad.
Habitat: Gate Vein at Pottsville in coal-slate.
Calamites cruciatus, Sternb., Vers. 1-4, p. 27, tab. 49,
Stem cylindrical, with the articulations at the same distance,
and a little convex; ribs plane and narrow; scars of branches on the
articulations, either alone or verticulate; hemispherical, concave.
Habitat: Same locality as above.
Calamites undulatus, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., vol.
i. p. 127, t. 17, Fig. 1.
Stem cylindrical, with distant articulations
and plain flexuous broad ribs alternating in the articulations.
Habitat: A single
specimen was found at the South Salem Vein, near Pottsville, in the
Calamites Cistii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., vol. i.
p. 129, t. 20.
Stem thick, cylindrical, with articulations at the same
distance; furrows very narrow; ribs half-round; tubercles globose.
Habitat: This species has been found at Wilkesbarre, and has been described by
Brongniart, from a specimen sent to him; but we did not see this
species anywhere, and all the specimens that we have seen around
Wilkesbarre and Carbondale belong to Calamites Suckowii.
Calamites dubius, Artis, Antedil. Phitol., Fig. 13.
cylindrical, with distant articulations; ribs parallel, about 1 line
broad; furrows bistriate; tubercles ovate.
Habitat: We refer to this species our No. 405 from Gate Vein, Pottsville, because
of the bistriate furrows; but though our specimen is more than half a
foot long, it has not any visible articulation. Perhaps it may belong to
Calamites remotissimus, an undescribed species of Goeppert.
Calamites cannaeformis, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
vol. i. p. 131, tab. 21, Fig. 4.
Stem inflated above; upper
articulations 2 to 3 inches distant, the lower ones scarcely 1 inch
apart; ribs plane, slightly convex, a little flexuous, converging at
Habitat: Specimens of this species are in the collection of Mr. Clarkson at Carbondale.
Calamites pachyderma, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss. vol.
1, p. 132, t. 22.
Stem thick, with distant cylindrical articulations;
ribs very broad, nearly plane, or slightly convex, unequal; tubercles
Habitat: The specimens referred to this species were found in the Conglomerates
below the coal at Trevorton, and are not in as good a state of
preservation as is wanted for an accurate determination. They agree at
least in the broad nearly flattened ribs; but the articulations are
very obsolete. This species is very large. We have seen, imbedded in the
conglomerate sandstone, many of them nearly one foot broad.
Calamites bistriatus, Lesq. Plate II, f. 1.
inches broad, cylindrical; articulations equal, about 2 inches distant;
ribs broad, nearly plane, narrowly ribbed again, converging at the
articulations; tubercles very small and obsolete, inverted on the
Habitat: A single specimen of this fine species was found at the Gate Vein, New
Philadelphia. It is well marked by its striated ribs. These striae are
visible only on the barked part of the stem, the bark itself being
Calamites disjunctus, Lesq.; Plate II, f. 5.
cylindrical; articulations distant about 2 inches, inflated and
separated by a depressed furrow; ribs elevated, half cylindrical,
exactly parallel, narrow surface, covered with very small elevated
points which look like a powder; tubercles very small, round.
also a very distinct species.
Habitat: Found at the Gate Vein of Pottsville.
Calamites approximatus, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
vol. 1. p. 134, t. 24, f 7, 8.
Stem cylindrical; joints very near
each other, slightly marked; ribs convex; tubercles either numerous
and globose, or wanting.
Habitat: This species is common in the coal-fields of Pennsylvania. We have found
it at the Gate Vein, Pottsville, and at Tremont, and have seen
beautiful and numerous specimens of it in the collection of Mr. Clarkson,
Ear terminal and globose, superior sheaths, nearly
immersed, and at length free, with pentagonal or concave scales very
near each other; stem cylindrical, striated lengthwise, articulated,
simple, branching below the articulations, and bearing erect-toothed
sheaths, inserted below the articulations.
Equisetites stellifolius, Unger, Gen. et Spec.—Pl. Foss., p. 60.
Equisetum stellifolium, Harlan.
Stem erect, simple, smooth, cylindrical,
1 to 8 inches in diameter; branches 10 to 12, emerging from the stein
at the joints, like the rays of a star; articulations rather distinct
near the base, approached above; sheaths indistinct.
We have mentioned this genus and this species only on
account of the description of Harlan, which has been copied by the
European authors without any criticism. The plant alluded to, and named
by Harlan Equisetum stellifolium, is merely an Annularia—probably
Annularia fertilis, Brongt. The error of those who have not had an
opportunity to see the specimens is easily accounted for by the
indication of the diameter of the stem, and of the mode of branching.
What Harlan has named branches are the leaves, and his indication of the
breadth of the stem, 1-8 pal., which means the eighth part of an inch
or a line, in French measure, has been translated 1 to 8 inches in
diameter. Harlan remarks that the articular sheaths which exist in all
the recent species of this genus are barely visible in this fossil
specimen; they may possibly have been destroyed by pressure; remnants
of the sheaths are, however, visible. There is not any trace of these
sheaths in the fossil, and probably the author has taken some part of
the leaves for them. The place where this species is indicated as found,
is the Schuylkill anthracite. As we have had an opportunity of
exploring carefully the anthracite basin of the Schuylkill, we have
found there a great abundance of the Asterophyllites and Annularia, but
never any trace of an Equisetites, and we have no doubt that Dr. Harlan
was mistaken in his observation. This conclusion is of great importance
concerning the geological distribution of fossil plants; for it removes
at once the Equisetaceae from the Palaeozoic coal, and shows their true
place to be much higher in the geological series. Equisetites
mirabilis, Sternb., is a stem of which nothing can be said, except that
the class of plants to which it belongs is unknown.
III. Asterophyllites, Brongt.
Stems articulate, branching at the joints; leaves placed around the
stems like the rays of a star (verticillate), open at the base, but
often incurved above; equal, linear acute, single nerved, free or
slightly joined together at the base. Fruit, axillary, monospermous (?)
compressed nutlet, either naked or encircled by a narrow wing, which is
pointed or acute at the summit. (For the male inflorescence, vide above,
[M. Unger, who has not observed the fruits attached to
the stem, says that they are encircled by an emarginate wing. He has
seen them upturned. They are ordinarily pointed above, obcordate or
emarginated below, and often bearing a short stem, in which case they
belong to Carpotithes bicuspidatus of Sternb.]
We have put together both the genera Wolkmannia and Asterophyllites,
being unable to point out any peculiar marks to separate them.
Asterophyllites gracilis, Brongt.,
Sternb., Vers. 2, p. 53, Pl. 15, fig. 1-3.
Stem cylindrical, branching,
leafy (articulations 2 to 6 lines distant), strongly furrowed in its
length. Leaves verticillate, linear, obtuse, half an inch long, open on
the stem, but straight, oppressed together, short, and crowded near the
summit of the branches, which terminate like an ear.
Habitat: We have not found
any specimen of this species in the coal-fields of Pennsylvania; but we
have seen a beautiful one from Zanesville, Ohio, in the cabinet of
D. Howart at Columbus.
Asterophyllites equisetiformis, Brongt., Prod. 159;
Hyppurites equisetiformis, Lindl. and Hutt., vol. 2, tab. 192;
Stem a foot high and more, articulate, branching
branches opposite, simple, articulated; leaves linear, lanceolate,
single nerved; verticillate, inserted on the joints. Near the
summit of the branches the articulations become shorter, and the leaves
straight and appressed, and are longer than the space between the
joints. In this state it is, we think, Asterophyllites regida, Brongt.
Prod. p. 154.
We have found stems of this plant, one
inch thick and more, bearing leaves and branches.
Habitat: This species
abounds in the anthracite basins. There is no
difference between the American and the European specimens.
Asterophyllites foliosa, Lindl. and Hutt., Foss. Flor.
1, t. 25.
Stern slender, striate, articulated, inflated at the joints;
branches simple, either opposite or verticillate; leaves 8 to 10 in a
whorl, linear, lanceolate, arched, single nerved, shorter than the
distance between the joints.
This species is perhaps also a variety of
the former; it scarcely differs, except by the leaves being a little
broader and less numerous.
Found at the Salem Vein at Pottsville, often
mixed with the former. On the same slates we have also seen specimens
agreeing exactly with Asterophyllites tenuifolia, Brongt., Prod. 159,
and we think that this species belongs also to Asterophyllites
Asterophyllites crassicaulis, Lesq.; Gutb., Plate I, fig. 1-1a.
Stems thick, articulated,
deeply striate; leaves verticillate on the joints, linear, lanceolate,
acute, single nerved; fruit obcordate, acute, attached to the stems in
the axils of the leaves.
It differs from all the species yet
described, not only by its fruit, but by the thickness and the deep
furrows of the stem. The fruits, or compressed nutlets, appear to be
attached above the joints of the stems they fill the whole space between
the whorls of the leaves; but our specimens being too small and
imperfect, we could not see the point of attachment of the fruits.
Habitat: We have found only two very small and broken specimens of this plant at
the Gate Vein, New Philadelphia.
|Asterophyllites ovalis, Lesq., Plate I, fig. 2.
from the former by its slender stem and slender furrows, the more
numerous leaves, and the oval nutlets.
Habitat: Our small specimen is from the
same locality as the former.
Asterophyllites sublaevis, Lesq., Plate I, fig 3.
thick, nearly smooth, or slightly undulate below and above the inflated
joints, branching at the articulations. Leaves verticillate, half open,
shorter than the distance between the joints; branches short, and thick
with very short leaves.
The difference in the length of the leaves in this species may show how
easily one may be misled in the determination of the species, in plants
of whirls we have only the leaves to rely on as specific and distinctive
marks. Taken alone, tine branches with their short leaves would agree
with Asterophyllites delicatula, Brongt., except for the thickness of
the stems. The root (Plate I, fig. 9), which is on the same slate,
appears to be the root of this Asterophyllites, and is very remarkable
for its cuticle. The epidermis is covered with small undulate furrows,
crossing each other nearly at right angles, and having the same
appearance as the vessels in the internal structure of the wood of some
coniferae (Plate I, fig. 9, a). Sometimes the epidermis is found
detached from the root, and an irregular surface remains; and in this
case the resemblance to the vessels of wood is such that it may easily
mislead the observer.
Asterophyllites tuberculata, Brongt., Prod., 159;
Lindley and Hutt., Foss. Flora, 1, t. 14, p. 45; 2, t. 180, p. 82;
Huttonia carinata (?), Gutb.
Stem striate, distance between the joints
very short; leaves short, obtuse, united together nearly to the summit,
forming a thick ear, and enclosing small cells containing the pollen
Habitat: Gate Vein of New Philadelphia, where it is abundant.
This species differs from the former only
by the leaves being united half their length, and terminated in a
Asterophyllites lanceolata, Lesq.
Gutb.; Plate VII, fig. 32 (?)
We have had
opportunities for examining many specimens, and found this species a
different one from any others.
Habitat: In the same locality as the former.
Asterophyllites aperta, Lesq., Plate I, fig. 4.
species has the ear
more slender and longer than both No. 7 and No. 8. The leaves, though
short, and united in their whole length, as in No. 7, are half open, and
not appressed. When divested of its leaves it is deeply furrowed, and
the joints, not inflated at all, are scarcely visible.
species is found also in the slate of the same vein of coal as both No.7 and No.8.
Asterophyllites Brardii, Brongt., Prod., p. 159;
Annularia reflexa, Sternb., 1 4, p. 31, t. 19, Fig. 5.
articulated; leaves in whorls turned backwards.
Habitat: We have seen some
specimens of this species on slates covered with Asterophyllites
equisetiformis, and think it the same species, the turning back of the
leaves being probably accidental.
Stems slender, articulated; branches opposite from below the base of
the leaves; leaves verticillate, plain, often obtuse, single-nerved, of
unequal length; fruit unknown.
Against the opinion of M. Unger, whose description of the fructification
answers exactly to what we take for the male catkins of
Asterophyllites, we persist in our opinion that these plants are not
only different from the former, but belong to another class. For this
reason we think that Annularia longifolia, described with the fruit, is a
true Asterophyllites, and probably the same as Asterophyllites
Annularia minuta, Brongt., Prod., 155.
branching in whorls; branches branching again; leaves short,
lanceolate. Our species agrees with the
description of Brongniart and the figures of Sternberg, except that in
our specimen the leaves are slightly obtuse.
Habitat: Gate Vein at Pottsville.
Annularia fertilis, Sternb., Vers., 1 4, p. 31, t. 51,
Stem (?); branches bearing about sixteen whorls, lanceolate,
linear, slightly obtuse; leaves unequal in length, the lateral ones
sometimes 1-1/2 inches in length, and more.
Habitat: This species is commonly
found in the highest and lowest veins of the anthracite basin—viz. in
the South Salem coal at Pottsville, and the Mammoth Vein at Minersville,
&c. We have received it also from many places in the coal-basin of
Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Annularia longifolia, Brongt.
Stem thick; leaves
verticillate, single-nerved, linear, lanceolate, numerous in the whorls.
The thickness of the stems alone would be sufficient to detach this
species from this genus.
Habitat: Gate Vein at Pottsville.
Annularia sphenophylloides, Unger, Gen. et Spec., p.
Stem diffuse, articulated, marked with deep but very narrow furrows;
leaves verticillate, ten to sixteen; obovate, oblong, very entire,
either slightly emarginated or pointed (Plate I, fig. 5 and 5 a). The whorls of leaves are often found separate from the
stem, and have been first mentioned as the corolla of some flowering
plant. We have some doubt about the identity of the two forms, though
they are ordinarily found together. As there is no other difference than
the point of the leaves, we have thought it better to unite them, until
it may be perhaps ascertained if the emarginate form is not the
fruit-bearing plant, and the other the sterile one.
abundant in the slates of the upper coal-beds of the Pottsville
Stems simple, branching, articulated; leaves cuneate, verticillate by
six to twelve, truncate at the apex, either serrulate, or bilobate, or
laciniate, with linear narrow divisions. Fruit unknown. Messrs Presl.
and Germar have described the fruit as an axillar or terminal ear,
composed of numerous bracteal leaves covering small nutlets, approached
or united in four. Their drawings and description are truly remarkable,
but the likeness of such ears to the male catkins of Asterophyllites (as
said before) leaves a doubt upon this point. Perhaps these ears, which
we have described as the male catkins of Asterophyllites, are the fruit
of Sphenophyllum; but in this case Sphenophyllum would be the immersed
part of an Asterophyllites, for we have seen those ears attached to the
stems of these plants, and contrary to nature, the immersed leaves
would be enlarged and many-nerved, and the aerial ones narrow, linear,
and single-nerved. We cannot admit this conclusion. We have tried
without result to solve satisfactorily this question. It is true that
Asterophyllites and Sphenophyllum are ordinarily found together, and on
the same slates, and often in such confusion that one of the plants
looks as if it were the branches of the other; but a careful
examination has always shown us both plants truly distinct and separate.
|Sphenophyllum Schlotheimii, Brongt., Prod., p. 68.
Stems 1 to 2 feet long, flexuous, striate, inflated at the
articulations; leaves in whorls of six, cuneate, nearly truncate or very
the summit; very finely crenate, open or reflexed; nerves furcate,
terminating in the sinuses of the minute teeth.—Plate I, fig. 8, 8 a, 8
The slates are
entirely covered with this species, but we have never found there
anything like the fructification described by Messrs Presl. and Germar.
The slates are often covered with small, round, deep, and hollow
impressions, which look like the impression of a hard small nutlet; but
they are obsolete, and their true nature cannot be ascertained. Our
American species differs only from the European one by shorter, broader
leaves, and by the stems being more inflated at the joints. In our Fig. 8
b, which represents the upper part of a stem, the leaves are nearly
straight, and only three to four in a whorl.
Habitat: At the South Salem Vein (new breaker), near Pottsville.
|Sphenophyllum emarginatum, Brongt., Prod., p. 61.
branching; leaves cuneate, crenulate, deeply emarginate, in whorls of
Habitat: Gate Vein at Pottsville.
|Sphenophyllum filiculmis, Lesq.; Plate I, fig. 6.
Stem very slender, thread-like; leaves in whorls of six, the lateral ones long, cuneate, deeply
emarginate, and crenulate; inferior leaves much shorter, and a little
broader, of the same form.
This species, of peculiar appearance, and
easily distinguished by the difference in the length of the leaves, and
the slender stem, is the same, I think, that has been figured by
Parkinson (Organic Remains) without any name. Its slender stem, the
leaves expanded horizontally, and of unequal length, gives to it the
appearance of a true Annularia.
|Sphenophyllum trifoliatum, Lesq., Plate I, fig. 7.
thick, inflated at the joints, striate; leaves in whorls of three,
deeply cut in three linear acute divisions.
The small specimen found and
represented here does not give any hint about the general appearance of
this plant. We think that we have in it a malformation of a
Sphenophyllum caused by immersion.
|Sphenophyllum oblongifolium, Unger, Gen. et Spec., p.
Leaves in whorls of six, oblong or ovate; denticulate at the apex,
longer than the distance between the joints.
We report with doubt of
this species, of which we have not seen any figure.
Habitat: No. 127 and 129 of
the Collection. Salem Vein at Pottsville.
This class of plants, as every one knows, is the one of which the
remains are most abundantly found in the Coal-measures. In the
Palaeozoic coal the number of ferns is such, that it was long an
established opinion that all the plants of that epoch belonged either to
this class of plants, or to the Equisetaceae and Lycopodiaceae, the two
classes of vegetables nearest the ferns. We have already said what we
think of this doctrine (see Introduction). This uniformity of vegetation
is worth recollecting when we have a doubt about the classification of
any peculiar genera of which there have never been found any specimens
perfect enough to show its true place in the vegetable kingdom. Such is
the genus Noeggerathia, admitted by Goppert, Unger, and the German
authors to be a fern, and transferred by M. Brongniart to the class of
the Cycadeae. The presence of the plants of this genus in the Palaeozoic
formations below the coal, would of itself induce us to admit them as
ferns. But, notwithstanding the scarcity of these plants, we have found
many specimens of which the best part (figured, Plate I, fig. 10) shows
evidently the same mode of branching as the ferns. The only difference
that can authorise a separation of these vegetables from that class of
plants, is the insertion of the leaves. But many species of Sphenopteris
have the leaflets decurrent on the branches, and apparently slightly
clasping, as in the Noeggerathia. This conformation is especially
visible in our Noeggerathia Bockschiana, Plate III, fig. 1 b, 1 c, a
plant related to the Noeggerathia by the disposition of the nerves, and
to the Adiantites or Sphenopteris by the form of the leaves and the
FIFTH Class.—Filices (Ferns).
To direct us in the study of the fossil ferns, there are
very few characters on which we can rely with certainty. Though we have
found many specimens of fossil ferns with fructifications (spore-cases
or sporanges), the position of these fruits is the only character
observable in them. Their form is always absolute; and the position
itself, in connection with the veinlets, is mostly undefined, these
veinlets being ordinarily obscured by the sporanges. Such being the
case, we cannot admit the new classification of the fossil ferns as it
has been attempted by M. Goppert, taking for its basis the form and the
position of the fructifications. Relying only on what we can see on
nearly all the leaves of ferns found in the coal, we take our marks or
characters from the general form of the leaves and leaflets, and from
the direction and the ramification of the veins and veinlets. The form
of the leaves is so variable, not only on the same plant, but often on
the same branch of a fern, that a classification with such a basis
necessarily leads us into many mistakes. But the adoption of another
method would not only expose us to as many errors, but especially lead
to such a confusion of genera, by the obscurity and even the
impossibility of description, that it is far better to adhere to the old
We have used the only means in our power of obviating the inconvenience
of this method—viz. the study of the fossil ferns on the spot where they
are found. We have never found any part of an interesting plant without
looking carefully for other portions of the same, at the same locality,
and very often have been enabled, by so doing, to rebuild a whole
plant, the remains of which, found separately, would have certainly
authorised the establishing of many species. It is by such researches
that we were able to ascertain the identity of the genera Cyclopteris
and Neuropteris, by following our Neuropteris hirsuta in all its
transformations from the normal part attached to the stem, Plate III,
to all the variations indicated on Plate IV. We have no doubt that all
the stemless Cyclopteris with arched nerves belong to some described
species of Neuropteris, and that all the stemless Cyclopteris with
straight and diverging nerves belong to some species of Odontopteris.
This opinion is elucidated in the description of the different species.
From this point of view, if we had to make a general description of the
fossil plants of America, we would necessarily unite under the name of
Cyclopteris, all the species of Neuropteris and Odontopteris, of which
the veins are slender and narrow, and the form of the leaves variable,
from oval or lanceolate to circular. The following are, for the coal of
Pennsylvania, all the species of Neuropteris which we have described,
except Neuropteris Cistii, Neuropteris Grangeri, Neuropteris heterophylla, Neuropteris minor, Neuropteris rarinervis;
all the stemless Cyclopteris, our Odontopteris squamosa, and perhaps Odontopteris
crenulata, Bt. We would have naturally to make two divisions of this
genus, one having the leaves with arcuate nerves, the other leaves with
straight and diverging nerves. The Cyclopteris, with stem, belongs to
another genus. Preserving, as we do, the classification generally
admitted, we recognise only the three following sections in the fossil
|Neuropterideae, to which belong the genera Noeggerathia, Odontopteris, Cyclopteris, Neuropteris, and Dictyopteris.
|Sphenopterideae, with the genera Sphenopteris,
Hymenophyllites, Pachyphyllum, and Scolopendrites, two genera of which
the true place is yet undetermined.
|Pecopterideae, containing the genera Callipteris,
Alethopteris, Pecopteris, and Asplenites. This last genus only is
established on the form of the elongated sporangia.
|* The definition of all the botanical terms used in our
descriptions may be found in Gray's Manual of Botany. The word frond
indicates the whole outline of a fern leaf. The frond is pinnate, or
bi-pinnate, or tri-pinnate. The first division is the pinna, the last
ones are the pinnules or leaflets.
Frond pinnate or hi-pinnate. Secondary veins, either
rising from a medial nerve, vanishing above, or all emerging and
branching from the base without any distinct medial nerve. Fruits
It is truly remarkable that hitherto there has not been found
any relic of the fruit of these Neuropterideae, though the remains of
ferns are very abundant in the coal. The impressions indicated by M.
Brongniart, as being possibly the marks of the sporanges, on the leaves
of Neuropteris undulata, have long since been acknowledged as accidental
swellings of the epidermis. They are easily observed on many kinds of
ferns belonging to this class, and even on the ferns of the other
divisions. Possibly the Neuropterideae had a fertile and a sterile frond
like Onoclea or Osmunda, and perhaps also the fertile frond appeared
and decayed before the complete maturity of the sterile ones, as it
happens with our Osmunda Cinnamomea. Whatever it may be, the total
absence of fructification in the plants of this class, both in America
and in Europe, is a remarkable occurrence. In many places, especially at
Pommy, Ohio, we have seen the roof of the bed of coal entirely covered
with the remains of Neuropteris undulata; in other places we have found
the roof-slates so thickly covered with the leaves of Neuropteris
hirsuta, or with those of Dictyopteris obliqua, that the slates seemed
like a mass of these leaves heaped upon one another; nevertheless we
have not been able to detect any form that could be ascertained to be a
I. NOEGGERATHIA, Sternb.
Frond bi-pinnately or
tri-pinnately branching; branches elongated, obliquely attached to the
stems; pinnules obovate, obcordate, or wedge-form, clasping or
decurring on the rachis by their base, sometimes narrowed in a short
petiole; nerves very, numerous, equal, either simple or forking from
the base up, parallel.
|Noeggerathia obliqua, Gopp., Gatt. Foss., Plates V, VI,
tab. 12, fig. 2.
Frond bi-pinnate, pinnae half open, attached to the
stem in an acute angle, like the pinnules or the rachis; pinnules
wedge-form or obconical, long, narrowed at the base, obliquely truncate
at the summit; nerves dichotomous, distinct.
We cannot decide whether this
species is the same as the one described and figured by Professor Hall
in his geological report of the survey of New York, and named
Sphenopteris laxus; or if the plant found by him belongs to the next
species. We have also some doubt whether our American form is perfectly
identical with the European plant of which the pinnae have never been
found, and the pinnules only been described. In our species the pinnae
are very long, we have only broken parts of them; the leaflets are from
to 2 inches long, very obliquely attached to the rachis, and narrowed
into a short and broad clasping petiole; the nerves flabelliform and
Habitat: This species was found
below Pottsville, in the Vergent strata.
Noeggerathia obtusa, Lesq., Plate I, fig. 11.
bi-pinnately branching; pinnae elongated, slightly undulate; pinnules
attached to the rachis in a very acute angle, broad and long, obovate,
rounded or lobed above, narrowed below in a short broad petiole; nerves
dichotomous and simple, parallel, distinct.
We have found this species
only in small fragments on the same slates as the following; perhaps
both belong to the same species. The nervation being alike in all our
Noeggerathia, if we cannot rely on the form of the leaves for a specific
character, we must have only one species of these plants. It differs
from the following especially by its larger size, and the nearly round
form of its leaflets.
Habitat: Red sandstone of the Ponent
group, Lehigh, below the Mauch Chunk Gap.
Noeggerathia minor, Lesq., Plate I, fig. 10.
bi-pinnately branching; pinnae long and straight, half open; pinnules
distant, small, obliquely attached to the rachis and slightly recurved,
cuneate, very obtuse above, narrowed below; nerves very slender,
scarcely distinct, dichotomous or simple and parallel.
Habitat: Same locality as
Noeggerathia Bockschiana, Lesq., Plate III, fig. 1, 1 a,
1 b, 1 c, 1 d;
Cyclopteris Bockschiana, Gopp. Uebers, p. 209;
Adiantites Bockschii, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 384, t. 36, fig.
Frond bi-tripinnately branching; pinnae nearly trifoliate or pinnated;
pinnules obliquely attached to the rachis, varying from the obovate
and obcordate to a broadly-cuneate form, narrowed into a short broad
petiole, the upper leaflet larger and broadly obovate, and narrowed into
a longer petiole. Nerves dichotomous and simple, very distinct;
primary stem thick, channeled and slightly margined like the branches.
This species affords the
best proof of the difficulty of a classification in the fossil ferns of
this division. M. Goppert has seen only a leaflet of this plant, exactly
like the one figured, Plate III, fig. 1 a. He placed it first in the
genus Adiantites, and afterwards in the genus Cyclopteris. Considering
the mode of nervation, the first place was the proper one for this plant; but by the nearly round form of the leaflet, it is a Cyclopteris. But
the other parts of this plant which we have found and figured, would
necessarily recall it to its former place. It is a true Adiantites, if
we admit the genus as it has been fixed by M. Brongniart—viz. frond
bi-pinnate or tri-pinnate, pinnules narrowed to the base, flabelliform,
entire, with the veins diverging from the base without medial nerve. But
as our plant has exactly the same nervation as the Noeggerathia, as the
leaflets appear to have been joined to the rachis in the same manner as
in the former species, and as the general form has nothing that departs
from the other Noeggerathiae, we have preferred to let it remain in
this genus, the more so because our plant was found in the same strata
as the other species. M. Gosport's plant, evidently the same as ours,
was found also in the transition (Devonian) sandstone of Bohemia. This
species has a great affinity with Sphenopteris adianthoides, Lindl. and
Hutton, Foss. Fl., 2, p. 115, t. 91 and 92; placed by M. Goppert among
the Cyclopteris, it differs only in having equal nerves and enlarged
petioles of the leaves.
Habitat: Found in the Vespertine strata opposite Mauch Chunk.
II. CYCLOPTERIS, Brongt.
Frond pinnate, leaflets
sessile, flabelliform, half orbicular, sometimes round, sometimes also
lobate, with a cordate and often unequal base; nerves numerous,
flabellate, dichotomous from the base, nearly parallel; fructifications
We shall separate this genus into three sections:
|Adianthoides, with leaflets petioled, and nerves
parallel and straight; a section which should be united with the genus
|Odontopteroides, with round or cuneate leaves without
petioles, the nerves diverging fanlike, dichotomous, and straight. The
plants of this section are connected with some species of Odontopteris.
|Neuropteroides, with the leaflets without petioles, the
nerves furcate or dichotomous from the base, diverging fan-like and
arched; a section which, as we have said above, should be united with
the genus Neuropteris.
Cyclopteris flabellata, Brongt.
Leaflets very entire,
fan-like, round and undulate in outline, cuneate below; nerves very
thin and close, straight, dichotomous, distinct.
American species does not differ in any way from the one described by
Brongniart, except that the nerves do not unite near the base in a thick
fascicule. The leaves appear to have been borne on a short petiole.
Related to this plant, we have a beautiful species of fern, found in
abundance at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and described by Prof. Newberry in
the Annals of Science, No. X. p. 116, and named Whittleseya elegans,
Newberry. It is a fan-like leaf, borne on a long petiole, cuneate, ovate
below, equally cut, and serrate at the truncated summit. The very fine
nerves, parallel and scarcely branching, if at all, are united in a
fascicule at the point of the teeth, and diverging from the sinuses.
These leaves plicate, fan-like in their length, had their surface deeply
and equally undulate. This undulation, we think, has caused the
obliteration of the nerves placed in the furrows, and the nerves of the
elevated ribs alone are visible. This would account for the strange and
abnormal appearance of these nerves, as indicated in the figure. We do
not see on what ground it can be separated from the ferns, its likeness
with some living Adianthum, especially with Adianthum membranaceum,
Habitat: Tremont, New Vein. We have never seen this species in the coal-basins of
Cyclopteris fimbriata, Lesq., Plate IV, figs. 17,
Leaves nearly round or truncate at the base, where they are often
unequally cordate or symmetrical; margins, especially above, fringed
with long thread-like, linear, acute, flexuous, and nearly equal
divisions; nerves flabelliform, dichotomous from the base, nearly
straight, distant though very thin, parallel, ascending to the points of
The species is remarkable not only for
its regular fringe, but also for its nerves, which, branching from the
base and from the middle, are parallel and simple above, and as distant
as the divisions of the fringe. Except Neuropteris crenulate, Brongt.,
to which this plant has some affinity by the distance, the thinness, and
the distinctness of the nerves, there is not any known Neuropteris with
which it may be compared. Though we have many species of living ferns
with fimbricate margins, it is the first time that a species of this
form has been found in a petrified state, and from the old formations.
But every day the study of fossil remains shows us something new, and
teaches us that the primitive organic structures of this world were much
more perfect than is generally believed. Truly each form of being was
perfect from the first.
Habitat: Salem Vein, Pottsville. We have found many fragments of
this beautiful species in the upper veins of the Southern anthracite
basin; but we had an opportunity to study its general form in a
beautiful specimen preserved by Mr. Lawton at Barlow, Ohio, and also in
another less perfect one in the cabinet of the Rev. Mr. Brown, at
Charlestown, Kenawha, Virginia.
Cyclopteris laciniate, Lesq., Plate XIX, fig. 3.
orbicular quadrate, with the base equal and slightly cordate,
irregularly fringed around by long, flexuous, acute divisions, somewhat
unequal in length, and united in fascicules; nerves flabelliform,
dichotomous, straight, very close and distinct. The surface is covered
with a scaly coating, which entirely obliterates the nerves, but it
falls easily into pieces, and beneath it the nerves appear perfectly
Found in combination with Odontopteris squamosa. The nervation of both plants is exactly alike,
and also the scaly coating which covers them. This common character not
observed on any other species, and the presence of these plants on the
same slates, are, we think, sufficient proof that they belong to the
same species of plants. And here already we have the first confirmation
of our views about the identity of some species of Odontopteris and of
Neuropteris with the genus Cyclopteris.
Habitat: We have found a single specimen of this plant at the vein of
Muddy Creek, between Pottsville and Tremont, in connection with
Cyclopteris undans, Lesq., Plate IV, figs. 19, 20, 21, 22; and Plate V, figs. 1, 2.
Leaves broadly oval or nearly round, emarginate at the base or
irregularly cordate; margins undulate and irregularly serrate; nerves
flabelliform, dichotomous, very slender and close, distinct, united in
fascicules, and thickened at and near the base, arched.
Following the transitions of forms between our figures 3 to
7, Plate V, there can be no doubt that all these leaves belong to the
same species, and that our Neuropteris undans is the same as this
Cyclopteris. All these leaves were found on the same slates, and all are
identical, not only by their undulated outline, but especially by their
thin close nerves, inflated at and near the base.
Habitat: Gate Vein at
|Cyclopteris elegans, Lesq., Plate V, fig. 4.
nearly orbicular, the lobes of the base converging and embracing the
stem, and the point of attachment being nearly central; entire or
slightly undulate in outline; nerves very distinct, deeply marked,
radiate and dichotomous from the base, where they are thickened; arched.
A beautiful species, easily distinguished by the thinness of the
leaves, ordinarily slightly folded along the nerves, and especially by
the sharpness of these nerves, ordinarily more arched to one side than
in any other species.
Habitat: Found in the vein West of Shamokin, in connection
with Neuropteris tenuifolia, Brongt., with which species it agrees in
the thinness of the leaves and the sharpness of the nerves.
Cyclopteris trichomanoides, Brongt.
kidney-shaped or nearly round, either symmetrically or unequally cordate
at the base; nerves very slender, distant, radiate, dichotomous,
becoming very thin and close at the margins.
We find in this species the
same variety of forms as in the following, from which it differs only
by the total absence of the hairs on the surface, and the nerves
slightly thinner and closer on the margins.
Habitat: Found always in connection
with Neuropteris undulata, especially at the Gate and Salem veins,
Cyclopteris hirsuta, Lesq., Plate IV, figs. 1 to 16;
Cyclopteris trichomanoides, Brongt., in part;
Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. 221, t. 61, fig. 3.
Leaves oval or
round in outline, either symmetrical or unequally cordate, sometimes
kidney-shaped, enlarged at the base with equal or unequal, either
converging or diverging lobes; nerves very thin, radiate from the base,
very close and slender near the margin; surface covered with short
straight hairs about a line long.
The monography of Neuropteris hirsuta
gives a satisfactory reason for the new name adopted for this species. We think that a few of the species examined and
described by authors belong to this species, an accurate discrimination
of them becoming impossible when the hairs, which appear to be very
brittle, have disappeared.
It is most commonly found in all the coal-basins of Pennsylvania,
especially in the upper veins, as at Salem Vein, Gate Vein, at
Cyclopteris orbicularis, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i., p. 220, t. 61. fig. 12.
Leaves nearly round, slightly cordate,
either symmetrical or oblique at the base; nerves very distant and
strongly marked, dichotomous.
It appears to be the true species described
by M. Brongniart, but does not resemble at all its synonyme Adiantites
cyclopteris of M. Goppert, of which the nerves are numerous and close.
In our specimen the nerves are fully one line apart, and many of them
more distant, a little turned to one side. Mr Sternberg has described
the rachis thick and round. We do not know any Neuropteris which might
be related to this species, except perhaps our Neuropteris fissa, Plate
III, fig. 2, of which the nerves are very distant, but thinner, and
which has the leaflets concave, like this Cyclopteris.
Habitat: Room Run Mines, above Mauch Chunk, in the
lowest veins of anthracite.
Cyclopteris Germari, Gopp., Syst. Fol. Foss., p. 218,
Plate VII, fig. 1; [Lesqx., Plate V, fig. 5. - GL,III, ed.]
Leaves enlarged at the base, sessile on the rachis by
the whole base, about round in outline, divided into two parts, the
upper one lobate, with the lobes divided in from three to five
lanceolate linear acute teeth; the lower part entire, with nerves
emerging from the base along the rachis; dichotomous, distant, thin but
The form of the leaves is as peculiar as
the manner in which they are attached to the rachis, which is thick and
narrowly striate. It is not possible to say anything more about this
plant until we find some better specimens. By the form of the leaves it
has some analogy with our Neuropteris Desorii.
Habitat: A small specimen only of this remarkable species was found
at the Salem Vein, Pottsville.
III. NEUROPTERIS, Brongt.
Frond pinnately or
bi-pinnately divided; pinnules or leaflets cordate or nearly so at the
base, scarcely narrowed, entire or cut-toothed, free or scarcely joined
to the rachis by their whole base, and decurrent; nerves oblique,
thinner above, either dichotomous from a medial nerve which disappears
above the middle, or flabellate and dichotomous from the base.
definition of this genus somewhat differs from the one adopted by
authors. The description of our species will show the reason of the
difference. By limiting the genus Neuropteris to the species having a
medial nerve, Messrs. Goppert and Unger have been compelled to make
different genera with different leaves of the same plant; and M.
Brongniart himself necessarily admits in the genus Neuropteris many
species which have no traces of a medial nerve.
Neuropteris Rogeri, Lesq., Plate VII, fig. 2.
leaves oval-lanceolate, cordate at the base, margin entire; nervules
flabelliform and dichotomous from a scarcely-inflated medial nerve,
distant, very slender and distinct, very arched downwards, and then
turned upwards at the margin.
the leaves, the only part of this plant that we have been able to find,
this species is the largest and the most beautiful of all. The leaves
were of thin texture; the nerves, diverging fan-like and very arched at
the base, are forking or dichotomous in ascending from a medial nerve
scarcely more thick than its divisions. The nervules, though thin, are
nevertheless strongly marked, and twice as distant from each other as in
the following species. They approach only at and near the margin,
where, changing abruptly their direction, they are curved upwards. We
have found many specimens of this species, all at the same place,
without any stem; they preserve well their specific characters. We have
dedicated this species to Professor Henry D. Rogers, State Geologist of
Habitat: Gate Vein, near Port-Carbon.
Neuropteris hirsuta, Lesq., Plate III, fig. 6, and Plate
IV, figs. 1 to 16;
Neuropteris cordate, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., p. 229,
tab. 64, f. 5; Lind. and Hutt. Foss. Fl. p. 119, tab. 41;
Neuropteris angustifolia, Brongt., loco cit., i. p. 231, tab. 64, f. 8;
Neuropteris Scheuchxeri, Hoffm.;
Neuropteris acutifolia, Brongt., loco cit. i. p. 231, tab.
64, figs. 3, 4.
Frond bipinnate; pinnules trifoliate or simple; upper
leaflets cordate at the base, lanceolate, acute or obtuse, sometimes
irregularly lobed; all with a strong medial nerve disappearing above
the middle; nervules furcate, very arched; pinnules of the base
kidney-shaped, or round, or oval, much smaller, with the nerves fan-like
and dichotomous from the base, without any medial nerve; surface of
the leaves more or less hairy.
The essential character of this variable
species was first observed by Mr. Bunbury, and mentioned in his
description of the fossil plants of Nova Scotia,—viz., the short hairs
scattered on the surface of the leaves. We have scarcely seen a
well-preserved specimen on which these hairs were not observable with a
lens. They appear, nevertheless, to have been brittle, and easily
falling off; for sometimes there are only a few of them left on some
part of a leaf, and sometimes they are numerous on the whole surface.
This species is the most common of all in the coal-fields of
Pennsylvania, from the lowest veins to the highest; and we have
frequently had an opportunity of studying it where its remains were the
only ones preserved. The short petioles, by which the leaflets are
attached to the common rachis, have a peculiar structure. Being enlarged
on the stem and pointed above, they stand on the rachis, ordinarily
deprived of its leaves, exactly like thorns—Plate
IV, figs. 15 and 16.
The point of attachment of the leaves was so slender and brittle that we
very seldom find any of the pinnules attached to the stem. We have seen
them in this state only once or twice, among many thousand specimens
that have come under examination. It is easy to follow the mutations of
the form of the leaves and leaflets in our Plate
IV; the basilar
leaflets being indicated from Neuropteris fig. 6 to the Cyclopteris, figs. 13,
14. But the most remarkable of these transformations occurs in some of
the upper leaflets, Plate
IV, figs. 1 to 5. Near the summit of the
pinnae, the pinnules become simple, narrowly lanceolate (in which case
they belong to Neuropteris angustifolia, Brongt.), and there they are
sometimes cut in many lobes, either to the base or to the middle,
preserving ordinarily a medial nerve in each division. The basilar
leaflets, also, are sometimes diversely lobed, but they preserve always
the flabelliform nerves diverging from the base, without any trace of a
medial nerve. By following the series of transformations figured on Plate
IV, it is easy to identify the genus Neuropteris with
Cyclopteris, as we have indicated above. We have observed an analogy of
form in the leaflets and some of the varieties above mentioned in
Angiopteris erectus, Hoffm., of which we have seen beautiful specimens
in the collection of Professor Asa Gray of Cambridge.
Scheuchxeri, Hoffm., sent to M. Brongniart from Wilkesbarre, belongs
probably to this species also; nevertheless, we have never seen a
leaflet with the petiole attached to it as it is figured by this eminent
author. The stems of this fern, narrowly ribbed but smooth, are
sometimes very large; the one figured, Plate
IV, fig. 16, was 3 feet
long, and 3 inches broad.
Habitat: We saw it in the roof of an upper vein at
Johnstown. We have seen still larger ones in the roof of the coal-seam
mined at Pomroy.
Neuropteris Clarksoni, Lesq., Plate VI, fig. 1-4.
irregularly bipinnately branching; pinnules simple, broadly lanceolate
above, cordate or irregularly auriculated and hastate at the base, by
the inferior lobe being more or less elongated; terminal pinnule
lance-shaped, equally bilobed in the middle; nervules dichotomous,
distinct, strongly marked from a thick medial nerve which ascends nearly
to the summit.
This species, named in honour
of Mr. Clarkson, is somewhat related to Neuropteris auriculata, Brongt.;
but it differs much from it by its thick and nearly continuous medial
nerve, and by the outline of the upper leaflet, which has exactly the
same form in all the specimens that we have seen. We would have admitted
Neuropteris acutifolia, Brongt., as being probably a synonym of this
species; but the author describes it with nerves very thin and close,—a
character better agreeing with Neuropteris hirsuta, this species having
the nerves thicker and more distant. [The analogy of this species with our living fern
Cassebiera hastate, from Cape of Good Hope, is truly remarkable. The
leaflets, both basilar and terminal, have the same variety of form and
the nervation is alike.]
Habitat: Collection of Mr. Clarkson at Carbondale, where beautiful
specimens of this species are preserved.
|Neuropteris fissa, Lesq., Plate III, fig. 2.
Pinnule oval, truncate at the base or cordate, with undulate margins;
nerves dichotomous from a medial nerve, very distant and slender.
We have only the broken leaflet figured on Plate III. But this species is very peculiar and distinct by the distance of
its undulate and scarcely-arched nerves obliterate above. The leaflet is
concave, and the medial nerve appears to have been split by pressure.
Its general outline is like Neuropteris ingens, Lind.; but in this
species the nervules are thin and close, and in one species they are
more than one line apart. Its affinity to Cyclopteris orbicularis is
indicated, p. 856.
Vein at Pottsville.
Neuropteris Sternb., Vers., i. pp. 29, 35;
Neuropteris acuminate, Brongt.
Frond pinnate, pinnules alternate, opposite,
petiolate, oblong acuminate, entire, from a slightly cordate base;
nerves very thin and close, scarcely discernible.
Habitat: A single leaf of this
species was found at an old shaft S.W. of Shamokin.
Neuropteris plicata, Sternb., Vers., i. p. 16 ; ii. tab.
19, figs. 1, 3.
Frond pinnate or bipinnate; pinnules alternate, close
to each other, ovate-acute, with a cordate base, the inferior lobe
longer or extended, the margins undulate-plaited; stem round; medial
nerves very slender; nervules numerous, arched, dichotomous.
We would have admitted this species as a variety of
Neuropteris undulata, but for the nervules, which are finer and closer
than in any other species of this division. We have figured Plate XX,
fig. 4, the only specimen that we have found. We do not see any
difference between this species and Neuropteris obovata of the same
Neuropteris flexuosa, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i.
p. 239, tab. 65, figs. 2, 3; and tab. 68, fig. 2.
Frond bipinnate, with
long lanceolate-linear pinnae; pinnules closely placed on the rachis,
and their margins either continuous or imbricated, oblong, obtuse, very
entire; the slightly cordate base parallel to the rachis, and the
inferior lobe more or less dilated; terminal pinnule oval, angular,
narrowed at the base; nervules very slender, arched, dichotomous from a
medial nerve vanishing above the middle.
This species is
very variable in the outline of its leaves; but it has always the
inferior lobe of the pinnules more or less dilated. It is, in many of
its parts, so very like Neuropteris Loschii that we much doubt if the
species are not identical, this last one being the upper part of the
frond of Neuropteris undulata.
Habitat: Found everywhere in the whole
extent of the coal-basin, especially in the upper veins.
Neuropteris Loschii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i.
p. 242, tab. 73.
Frond bipinnate; pinnae sessile, nearly opposite or
alternate, open, linear, lanceolate; pinnules alternate, close, or
distant, cordate-oval, very entire; the terminal leaflet rhomboidal,
and angular below the middle, larger than the lateral ones; medial
nerve very slender, and nervules like the former species.
See fig. 3,
Plate XX. Our figure, which represents the upper part of a frond, shows
how variable the pinnules are in their form.
Neuropteris rotundifolia, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 238, t. 70, fig. 1.
Frond bipinnate; pinnules very close to each
other, and imbricated on the margins, round, oval, very obtuse above,
short; medial nerve and nervules like the former.
Perhaps a variety of Neuropteris flexuosa, from which it
differs only by the shorter, broader, and more obtuse leaflets, placed
closer to each other on the rachis.
Habitat: Gate Vein,
Neuropteris tenuifolia, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 241, t. 72, fig. 3.
Frond bipinnate; pinnae long and linear;
pinnules alternate, sessile, oblong, slightly narrowed and obtuse above,
cordate at the base; the terminal one lanceolate, long, nearly
pointed, angular near the base; medial nerve well marked, like the
arched, dichotomous, and slender nervules.
The terminal leaflet, by its lanceolate form, is
characteristic of this species. The nervation is also peculiar. Vide
Cyclopteris elegans, p. 856.
Habitat: Shamokin, at a coal-bed west
of the village.
Neuropteris gigantea, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i.
p. 240, t. 69.
Frond bipinnate; pinnae nearly opposite, distant;
pinnules alternate, sessile, oblong-obtuse, very entire, with a cordate,
equal base; medial nerve thin; nervules numerous and thin, arched,
This species has been often mentioned as commonly found in the
coal-basins of Pennsylvania. We do not doubt but that it has been
confounded with Neuropteris undulata and Neuropteris Loschii.
Habitat: The only specimen of this species that we ever saw in the
coal-fields of America is in the possession of Dr. Howard of Columbus,
and had been found at Zanesville, Ohio.
Neuropteris Grangeri, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i.
p. 237, t. 68, fig. 1.
Frond bipinnate; pinnae alternate, long, open,
or slightly recurved; pinnules alternate, scarcely contiguous,
ordinarily distant, oval, slightly enlarged at the base; nervules
strongly marked, dichotomous, arched.
A very fine species, related to
Neuropteris Loschii, but easily distinguished by its oval leaflets,
scarcely enlarged at the base, and by its fine and deeply-marked
nervules. By its nervation it differs from the following species, to
which M. Brongniart thinks it might be allied.
habitat: Very scarce in the
anthracite coal-basins. Found once at Gate Vein, Pottsville.
Neuropteris Cistii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p.
238, t. 70, fig. 3.
Frond bipinnate (?); pinnules distant, oval,
cordate above the base, and narrowed into a short broad petiole;
nervules distant, thin, flattened, forking only twice. A species easily distinguishable by its leaflets, borne
on a broad base, and enlarged above.
Habitat: Gate Vein at Port
Neuropteris delicatula, Lesq., Plate XX, fig. 2.
bipinnate; pinnae lanceolate, short; pinnules oblong, attached to the
broad flattened rachis by their whole base, and slightly decurrent;
nervules distinct, flabellate, dichotomous, arched, thin, and close;
rachis slightly winged, flexuous.
do not like to increase the number of the species, and to admit any new
one without being acquainted with it by the inspection of many
specimens, we cannot but notice the small branch figured here; its
nervation and the decurrent leaves on a broad nearly winged rachis is
totally different from all the other Neuropteri of this section.
Habitat: Salem Vein at Port Carbon.
Neuropteris Villersii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg., Foss. i.
p. 233, t. 64, fig. 1. Plate III, fig. 3.
Frond bipinnate; pinnules
obliquely placed, oblong, obtuse on one side; nearly perpendicular,
longer, oblong, lanceolate, acute on the other; nerves flabelliform,
dichotomous, crenate, slender, distinct and distant; rachis round,
By the form of the leaves, longer on one
side, shorter on the other, this species agrees with Messrs.
Brongniart's and Sternberg's figure and descriptions. We have
nevertheless some doubt about the identity, on account of the peculiar
nervation of this plant. Though very distinct and deeply marked, the
nerves are thin and distant, and not at all thickened at the base;
neither close on the margins, as these eminent authors have described
their plant. The terminal leaflet appears very large; but it is broken
through the middle in the only specimen that we have found, and we could
not see its form.
Habitat: Gate Vein, Pottsville.
Neuropteris gibbosa, Lesq., Plate V, fig. 3.
bipinnate; pinnules nearly opposite, equally cordate at the base;
oblong, obtuse, with the margins deeply and irregularly sinuate;
nervules flabellate, dichotomous, very slender, close, and distinct.
A fine species, somewhat relative to Neuropteris
flexuosa, but differing by its nerves, being thinner, closer, and
flabellate, without any medial nerve, by the leaflets opposite, and the
rachis round and inflated at the articulations of the leaves. At the
base of some leaflets there are, between the nerves and following
exactly their direction, some short, narrow depressions or holes, which,
by their form and their symmetry, appear to have been of an organic
nature. We could not ascertain whether they are not possibly
the-impressions of the fructification of these plants. These depressions
are entirely naked.
Habitat: Salem Vein, Pottsville.
Neuropteris undans, Lesq., Plate V, figs. 1 and
Frond bipinnate; pinnules either large, 2 inches long and more,
lanceolate, attenuate at the base, with the margins deeply undulate,
plaited; or small, oblong, undulate, with a terminal pinnule, much
larger and lance-shaped, obtuse, undulate, lobate, or angular below the
middle; nerves flabellate, arched, dichotomous, very thin, and close on
the margin, inflated near the base.
is the same as Cyclopteris undans. Vide p. 855. The pinnules of fig. 9
are very small; but as the general outline is the same, and the
nervation alike, we had no reason to separate it, the less so as this
species offers us so many changes of form.
Habitat: Gate Vein, Middleport.
Neuropteris crenulata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i., p. 234, t. 64, fig. 2.
Frond pinnate; pinnules alternate, sessile,
oval-obtuse, denticulate, with an unequally truncate obtuse base;
nervules furcate, slightly arched, distant and slender, from a slender
It is so well characterised by its distant,
slightly-arched nerves, and its very small round teeth around the leaf,
that we have no doubt about the identity of this species with the
European one. —Vide Plate V, fig. 6.
Habitat: We have found a single leaf of this species at the Salem
Neuropteris tenuinervis, Lesq., Plate V, figs. 7 and
Frond bipinnate; pinnules oval or oblong, with undulate margins,
sometimes irregularly toothed at the summit, either regularly cordate at
the base, or attenuate in a short broad petiole; nerves very thin,
flabellate, dichotomous from the base, slightly arched, equal, not
inflated below; rachis round, and narrowly striate.
There are in this species two characters which separate it
from every other of this class; the form of the leaflets, which is very
irregular and abnormal; and a very slender, deep, straight medial
nerve, which looks nearly like a cleft along the pinnules, dividing them
in two. This character enables us to identify both parts of this plant,
figs. 7 and 8, which at first would appear as belonging to different
species. This medial nerve is perfectly equal in its whole length, and
ascends nearly to the summit. This species has some analogy of form with
Odontopteris subcuneata, Bunb. (Description of the Fossil Plants of
Nova Scotia); but our species has the nervules evidently arched, and is
a true Neuropteris.
Habitat: Gate Vein,
Neuropteris dentata, Lesq., Plate V, figs. 9 and
Frond pinnate; pinnules slightly cordate, or irregularly truncate at
the base; oval-lanceolate in outline, with the margins irregularly
cut-toothed and lobed; nerves flabellate, dichotomous, arched, deeply
marked, but very thin and close.
This fine species has the most slender and narrow nerves of
all. We have only a small part of a pinnae, fig. 9, and probably a
terminal leaflet, fig. 10.
Habitat: Very scarce; found at Salem Vein, Port
Neuropteris Desorii, Lesq., Plate V, figs. 11 and 12,
and Plate XX, figs. 5, 6, 7, 8.
Frond bipinnate; pinnules opposite,
either oblong, oval, or obovate; entire, or irregularly laciniate and
lobate, with the lobes sometimes pinnately divided in long and linear
teeth; nerves flabellate, dichotomous, very thin above, thickened at the
This species is certainly the most
polymorphous in the whole class of Neuropteris. Though we have seen
only the fragments figured, we do not doubt that all belong to the same
species. Not only the nervation is alike, and all the varieties have
been found on the same slates, but the analogy of form, and the
transitions between them, are easily appreciable. As it happens in this
section of Neuropteris, the leaflets at the upper part of the pinnae
become adherent to the rachis by their whole base, and are nearly
decurrent and often contiguous. In this state the plant is very like the
following one (vide Plate V, figs. 11 and 12), but it differs always from it by
its thinner and less distinct nerves. We have dedicated this beautiful
species to our excellent friend Professor Desor, at one time actively
engaged in the geological survey of Pennsylvania.
Habitat: Salem or Gate Vein, West Wood.
Neuropteris heterophylla, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 243, t. 71, 72.
Frond large, many times pinnately divided;
interior pinnae linear, sessile, the exterior ones bipinnate, petiolate,
much longer; pinnules oval, or nearly round, obtuse, very entire, with
a cordate equal base, terminal leaflet oblong, and much larger, medial
nerve slender, nervules arched, dichotomous, distinct.
It would be
useless to enumerate all the forms and varieties of this species. The large frond
is ordinarily three times divided; the last divisions or leaflets are
either long and pinnately lobed, with the lobes separate nearly to the
base, or united in their whole length; either simple, lanceolate,
obtuse, or slightly acute, with two small round leaflets at the base.
The strongly-marked nerves are characteristic of this species. One of
our varieties presents exactly the form of Neuropteris Brongniarti,
Sternb. It is distinguished by the longer, lanceolate, obtuse leaflets,
sometimes slightly acute, either single, or with two small round
leaflets at the base. This is the common form of the species in the
upper part of the fronds.
Habitat: This species is
commonly found in the upper veins of the Anthracite Coal-basin at
Pottsville, Westwood, New Philadelphia, &c. &c.
Neuropteris minor, Lesq., Plate III, fig. 4.
bipinnate; pinnae short, linear, sessile on a thick, striate, round
rachis, pinnatifid; pinnules oval, sessile, either separate, or united
in the upper part of the pinnae; terminal leaflet very small, oval;
nerves thick, obsolete, bifurcate.
form of the upper leaflet and its size, this species agrees with
Neuropteris microphylla, Brongt. The texture of the leaflets appears to
have been thick; their surface is undulate and sometimes entirely
smooth, the veins being indistinctly traced by the swelling of the
parenchyma between them.
Habitat: Found at Tamaqua by Desor.
Neuropteris rarinervis, Bunb. Quart. Jour. Geol. Soc.,
Frond bipinnate; pinnae long and linear, sessile, alternate;
pinnules alternate, contiguous, oval, obtuse, slightly scythe-shaped,
nearly cordate at the base, with the exterior lobe slightly extended;
terminal pinnule deltoid, nearly trilobate. Superior pinnae simple,
linear lanceolate, with undulate margins, medial nerve distinct;
nervules distant, bifurcate.
Mr. Bunbury observes, this species, in the form of its pinnules, is near
Neuropteris Loschii and Neuropteris undulata; but differs from both by
its round narrow secondary rachis and its distant nerves. The nervules
branch once only near their base—and the one division is simple; the
other branches a second time near the margin.
Habitat: Collection of Mr. Clarkson, Carbondale.
Neuropteris Moorii, Lesq., Plate XIX, fig. 1.
bipinnate; pinnae nearly opposite, half open; pinnules alternate,
ovate, slightly acute, entire, sessile by their whole base, and somewhat
contiguous; nervules emerging either from the medial nerve, or from
the rachis, furcate; primary rachis thick, smooth, winged by some
pinnules of the same form attached to it.
beautiful species, remarkable, like the following, for the leaflets
being attached on the common rachis, and by the nerves emerging from the
whole base of the pinnules. This character would be sufficient to
separate these species into a peculiar genus, intermediate between
Odontopteris and Neuropteris.
Habitat: Found near Greensburg by the
Rev. Mr Moore, in whose cabinet we were permitted to study it.
Neuropteris adiantites, Lesq., Plate XX, fig. 1.
bipinnate; pinnules nearly decurrent on a slender rachis, oval, obtuse;
inferior pinnules decurrent on the primary rachis; nerves dichotomous,
It has a great affinity with the former, differing
only by the thin rachis, and the oval form of the leaflets, of which the
terminal one is very small. The vein-lets are branching from a medial
nerve, and dichotomous.
Habitat: We have only the upper part of a pinna found at South Salem
IV. ODONTOPTERIS, Brongt.
branching, pinnules attached to the rachis by the entire base, oval,
acute, or obtuse, thick; medial nerve slightly marked, nervules either
simple or furcate, some of them rising from the rachis.
The form of the
leaves, as well as the nervation of many of the species of Odontopteris,
evidently relates this genus to the former. Sometimes this relation is
so near, that it is difficult to find any generic character to authorise
the separation. Sometimes, also, as in the instance of Odontopteris
Schlotheimii, this affinity totally disappears; hence a sectioning of
this genus would be easy, and perhaps opportune. The first section would
contain the species of which the nerves are close, flagellate,
dichotomous, differing from the Neuropteris only by the straight
direction of the nervules. To the second division would belong the
species with distant and scarcely branching nerves, some of them rising
from the base or from the rachis; and in this section, we think, the
two last species of Neuropteris would take their place, as well as some
of the Adiantites of M. Goppert.
Odontopteris squamosa, Lesq., Plate XIX, figs. 2 and 2
Frond tripinnate; pinnae long, lanceolate; pinnules oblong, oval,
obtuse, the terminal one smaller, oval, lanceolate, acute; nervules
thin, but very distinct, flabellate, dichotomous, straight; surface of
the leaves ordinarily covered with a coat of scales.
At first this
species appears identical with Odontopteris obtusa, Brongt., but by a
close examination it is found to differ in many essential characters. As
may be seen by the unfolded stem, the plant is tripinnate; the
leaflets are longer and narrower, the layer of scales which covers the
surface falls easily, and below it the nervules appear naked or strongly
marked, though thinner than in Odontopteris obtusa. Its analogy with Cyclopteris laciniata, is
indicated, p. 855.
Habitat: A scarce plant; found at
South Salem Vein, Pottsville.
Odontopteris Brardii, Brongt. (?) Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 252, t 75 and 76.
Frond bipinnate; pinnae nearly opposite, and
sessile distant; pinnules alternate, united together at the base, oval,
oblong, acute, entire, slightly scythe-shaped, nerves very numerous,
furcate, rachis round.
We refer with doubt to this species a small
specimen, No. 149 of the collection, which is very indistinct; it looks
like a superior pinna, and has the pinnules slightly obtuse.
Habitat: Gate Vein,
Westwood. A very scarce species in America, if present at all.
Odontopteris crenulata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
p. 254, Plate 78;
Neuropteris serrata, Sternb., Vers. 2, p. 76.
pinnate; pinnules alternate, lanceolate, acute, scythe-shaped, lobate,
serrate; medial nerve slightly marked, nervules very thin, slightly
arched, emerging from the striate rachis.
specimen, though small, agrees well with M. Brongniart's figure and
description. It has a near affinity to our Neuropteris dentata, but
evidently differs by the thin nervules being nearly straight, and rising
from the rachis.
Habitat: Tremont New Vein.
Odontopteris Schlotheimii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg.
Foss., i. p. 256, t. 78, fig. 5.
Frond tripinnately branching; inferior
divisions pinnate, with the pinnules alternate, nearly round, or half
round, entire, joined at the base; nervules thick and far distant,
rising from the rachis, and nearly perpendicular to it; simple or
furcate once only; superior divisions simple, with ovate, oblong, obtuse
pinnules, twice as large, nerves dichotomous and slightly arched.
This species, we think, is the same as the one described
by M. Goppert, in his Genera, 5,6, tab. 6, and also the same as M.
Brongniart's, though he says the nerves are very narrow and close
(tenuissimi and approximati). This plant is very variable, either in the
disposition and the size of the nerves, or in the form of the leaflets.
Our fig., Plate VII, shows the upper part of a pinna, of which the
superior pinnules have the form of a Neuropteris. On the inferior
pinnae, the short, half round, and sessile leaflets, have only a few
nervules, thick, distant, straight, and scarcely branching; on the
superior pinnules the nerves are flabelliform, dichotomous, slightly
arched, and much closer. We have seen on one of our specimens the round,
thickened, or inflated leaflets indicated by M. Goppert, as the
fructifications of this plant. We think the appreciation of this able
palaeontologist is correct. As it occurs with the ferns of this class,
the fertile plant is separate, and has a different appearance from the
sterile one. In this species the primary rachis of what we think the
fertile form is much thicker, deeply striate, with the branches attached
perpendicularly, and sometimes recurved; some of the leaflets, round
and inflated, do not present any trace of nerves, but only concentric
lines; others of them are flattened, and have the normal nervation.
veins of the Anthracite coal, Salem Vein, at Pottsville, New Vein at
Odontopteris dubia, Lesq.
Frond (?) pinnule oval,
lanceolate, entire on one side, pinnately divided on the other in three
lobes, which are nearly distinct to the base, and oval; nerves
numerous, slender, distinct, dichotomous.
Habitat: We give under this name the description of a small specimen found at the
Gate Vein, Pottsville, which may belong to some Odontopteris already
described, either Odontopteris obtusa or Odontopteris Sternbergii, Gopp. It nevertheless
differs apparently from both by the section of the leaflet on one side,
the other side being entire and undulate—possibly one of those anomalies
so often remarked in this genus, and only accidental.
V. DICTYOPTERIS, Gutb.
Frond bipinnate, pinnae
linear-oblong; pinnules sessile, oval-oblong, slightly and equally
cordate at the base, obtuse and oblique, or a little scythe - shaped
upwards; medial nerve disappearing above the middle; nervules much
branching and reticulated by their diverging divisions.
At first, by the
reticulation of the nerves, this genus does not appear to belong to
this class, but, by following the ramifications of the nerves, it is
easily seen that it is identical with the nervation of a Neuropteris,
with a difference in the divergence of the nervules. In many cases,
especially in the largest leaves of our only species, the nerves are
scarcely reticulated, and their divergence from the point of attachment
is no greater than it is in a Neuropteris, and such leaves may easily be
mistaken for those of this genus.
Dictyopteris obliqua, Bunb., Quart. Jour. Geol. Soc.,
Frond bipinnate, pinnae linear; pinnules cordate at the base,
oblong-obtuse, slightly narrowed and scythe-shaped above; very
deciduous, and attached to the rachis by the base of the medial nerve,
which ascends only to half its length.
The pinnules, as it happens with many species of
Neuropteris, are so very deciduous that they are scarcely found attached
to the rachis. At Trevorton we have seen a thick bed of slates entirely
formed of those pinnules, heaped one upon another, nearly without any
trace of other fossil plants. We have figured, Plate VIII, fig. 6, a
part of a pinna, that, we think, belongs to this species, in spite of
the great difference in the form of the pinnules. The nervation is the
same; such branches are found mixed with the pinnules of the normal
form. There are found also many intermediate forms, and so we cannot
admit it as a peculiar species. The medial nerve at the base of the
leaflet is the mark by which this species is separated from Dictyopteris
Brongniarti, Gutb. Though the leaflets are ordinarily scythe-shaped in
the American plant, this form is not without exception; it is also
remarkable in the European species: they may prove identical.
Habitat: This species is very abundant in
both the lower and the upper beds of the coal-basins of Pennsylvania and
Ohio. We have found it at the South Salem Vein, at Pottsville, and also
Frond bi-tripinnate or
bi-tripinnatifid; pinnules sometimes entire, but mostly lobate, the
lobes wedge-form at the base, dentate or diversely divided; nerves
pinnate, with a primary nerve more or less distinct and flexuous;
secondary nerves obliquely ascending, either simple in each lobe or
division, or dichotomous, furcate at the apex; fructifications
punctiform or marginal.
This definition, nearly translated from
Goppert's and Ungers', embraces the characters of this class of ferns, as
we have admitted it; but we have never seen on any of our specimens a
trace of fructification, and we can assert nothing either as to their
position or their form.
I. SPHENOPTERIS, Brongt.
Frond bi-tripinnate, pinnules
lobate, wedge-form at the base, the inferior lobe ordinarily larger.
Nerves pinnate; primary nerve more or less distinct, and ascending to
the margin (decurrent); flexuous, secondary nerves dichotomous,
branching two to three times in each lobe.
Sphenopteris Darallia, Gopp., Gatt. Foss. Flor., p. 68,
t. 11, fig. 23.
Frond tripinnate; secondary pinnae alternately placed,
linear, close, open; the inferior ones free at the base, the superior
sessile and decurrent on the common rachis, six to ten parted; pinnules
or lobes cuneate, round, emarginate above, terminal large; nerves two
to three times furcate in each lobe.
The only difference between the
American plant and the species described by M. Brongniart is the
greater size in all the parts of our plant. The frond is 4 to 6 inches
long, the secondary pinna 12 inch, with six to eight ranges of larger
leaflets. As we have specimens of different sizes, this difference is
Habitat: Kenawha Salines, Virginia;
presented by Dr Hildreth, from Marietta.
Sphenopteris tenella, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i.
p. 186, t. 49, fig. 1.
Frond tripinnate, pinnae and pinnules alternate,
distant, petiolate, open; pinnules deeply pinnatifid; the inferior
ones with two to three pairs of leaflets; the superior ones bi-trifid,
with the divisions alternate, linear-lanceolate, acute, nerves pinnately
branching, rachis filiform, naked.
Habitat: Gate Vein, Port Carbon.—A small
Sphenopteris Gravenhorstii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 191, t. 55, fig. 3.
Frond tripinnate, with a broad and flattened
rachis; primary pinnae curved downwards; secondary pinnae lanceolate,
nearly equal, oblique on the slightly marginate rachis; pinnules small,
oblique, ovate, three to five lobed; lobes short, bi-tri-toothed nerves
nearly pinnately forking.
A variable species.
Sometimes the leaflets are longer, and the divisions broader.
Habitat: Gate Vein, Westwood. It appears
to be common in the bituminous coal-basin, especially in Ohio. There
are fine specimens of it in the beautiful cabinet of Professor Newberry.
Sphenopteris Dubuissonii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 195, t. 54, fig. 4.
Frond bipinnate, pinnae alternate, open,
oblong-lanceolate, deeply pinnatifid; pinnules sessile, and nearly
opposite, united at the base, short, nearly round, three to four toothed
at the apex.
In the American form, the
secondary pinnae are closer, a little longer, and the pinnules of the
base ordinarily five-lobed. This character, and the scaly rachis, would
place it with Sphenopteris Hoeninghausii, Brongt. (Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 199, t. 52). But the divisions of the pinnules are enlarged at
the base, sessile by their whole base, and united together—(neither
separate nor narrowed, as in this last species).
Sphenopteris abbreviata, Lesq., Plate IX, fig. 1, t. 1
Frond bipinnate, pinnae alternate, open, short, linear-lanceolate;
pinnules alternate, sessile by the whole base, obliquely ovate in
outline, crenulate; nerves pinnately forked, distinct, rachis broad and
smooth. The pinnae are perpendicular to the
rachis, as in Sphenopteris palentissima, Gopp., which our species
Habitat: Gate Vein, Port Carbon.
Sphenopteris intermedia, Lesq., Plate VIII, fig. 8, 9, 9
Frond tripinnatifid, rachis smooth and slender, slightly flexuous,
secondary pinnae linear-lanceolate, deeply pinnatifid; pinnules oval,
decurrent, joined together by their base, serrulate at the summit;
nerves obsolete, pinnately forked; nervules simple.
This species is truly intermediate
between Sphenopteris chaerophylloides, Sternb., from which it differs by
its longer secondary pinnae, and the short pinnules united half their
length, and Pecopteris athyriodes, Brongt., than which the secondary
pinnae are a little longer. There is also a slight difference in the
less flexuous nerves, and in the pinnules, which are not so deeply
toothed in our species; nevertheless, the affinity between them is so
great that, but for the difference in their geological age, we would
have admitted them as identical.
Habitat: Gate Vein,
Westwood, and Tremont New Vein. It is abundantly found in the
anthracite coal-fields of Pennsylvania.
Sphenopteris flagellaris, Lesq., Plate XVIII, fig.
Frond bipinnatifid, pinnae long, linear, flexuous, slender, pinnules
alternate, oval, with a broad decurrent base, united together,
crenulate; nerves bifurcate.
related to the former, but distinguished from it by its long flexuous
pinnae. It has also some affinity with Pecopteris serra, Lindley and
Habitat: South Salem bed, Pottsville.
Sphenopteris plicata, Lesq., Plate IX, fig. 3.
bipinnatifid (?), pinnae long, linear, pinnules distant, oval-oblong,
enlarged below, sessile on the winged rachis, and united together,
pinnately lobate, and undulate plaited; lobes short, a little obtuse;
medial nerves thick; nervules obliterated or obsolete.
specimen is imperfect, the species is evidently distinct and peculiar.
We do not know of any already described to which it can be referred.
Habitat: Behind New
Philadelphia, at an old shaft—probably of the Gate Vein.
Sphenopteris latifolia, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
p. 205, t. 57, figs. 1 to 6.
Frond tripinnate; pinnules short, petioled,
ovate, pinnately divided; divisions oblique, oval, obtuse, two to
three partite; nerves diverging from the base, many times forked, well
marked, and thick.
Habitat: Salem Vein, Pottsville.
Sphenopteris acuta, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p.
205, t. 57, fig. 5.
Frond bipinnate, rachis slender, flexuous; pinnae
lanceolate, acute, oblique; pinnules lanceolate, five to seven lobed;
lobes oval-lanceolate; superior acute, nerves very slender, flabellate,
dichotomous, scarcely distinct.
Habitat: We have seen a fine specimen of this
species in the cabinet of Dr. Hildreth, at Marietta; found at Kenawha
Sphenopteris glandulosa, Lesq., Plate IX, fig. 2.
tripinnately divided, dichotomous, or forking at the top; primary and
secondary pinnae opposite, long, perpendicular, or recurved on the broad
striate rachis; inferior pinnules equally three to five lobate,
cordate at the base; lobes round, terminal leaflet acute, sometimes
long-pointed by the persistence of the broad medial nerve; superior
pinnules smaller, round, entire; all thick, convex,
glandular-punctulate, rough; nervules entirely obsolete.
It is separated from
Sphenopteris obtusiloba, Brongt., by its pointed terminal leaflet, and
the glandular surface of the pinnules. It would agree by its
ramification with Sphenopteris Linkii, Gopp., from which it differs
however by its rough surface, and its much larger size.
Habitat: A beautiful
species found at Shamokin, west of the village.
Sphenopteris decipiens, Lesq., Plate XVIII, fig.
Frond pinnate; pinnules elongated, pinnately lobed; lobes half
round, very obtuse, decurrent, and united at the base, the terminal
broader; medial nerve undulate, broad; nervules two to three times
forked, slender, distinct.
At first sight this species is
easily mistaken for both Sphenopteris latifolia and the upper part of
the frond of Alethopteris nervosa, Plate XVIII, fig. 3. It differs from
them both by its remarkable nervation. The nervules do not branch from
the middle, but from the lowest nervule, which runs nearly parallel, and
very near to the medial nerve.
Habitat: Shamokin Gap.
Sphenopteris polyphylla, Lind. and Hutt., Foss., Plate
p. 185, t. 147.
Frond bipinnate or tripinnate, pinnae alternate, open;
pinnules alternate, petiolate, oval, inferior ones pinnatifid, superior
trilobed, divisions round, ovate, entire, the terminal ones twice as
large; rachis flexuous; nerves pinnate, forking near the margin.
Salem Vein, Pottsville. Scarce.
Sphenopteris Newberryi, Lesq., Plate IX, fig. 4.
dichotomous, forking in a very obtuse angle, bipinnate, secondary pinnae
long, lanceolate, linear, acute, pinnately lobed; inferior pinnules
sessile by their whole base, but distinct, irregularly undulate, lobate;
superior ones confluent, oval lanceolate, entire, or slightly undulate,
the terminal small and pointed; nerves obsolete.
A very remarkable species for
its peculiar ramification. The broad rachis is flattened, or slightly
marginate; the inferior leaflets are ordinarily larger than the other,
and trilobate. It has some resemblance to the following species, and
stands in the same division. Dedicated to our friend Professor Newberry,
the palaeontologist of Georgetown.
Habitat: Found by a miner at
Summit Mines, between Tamaqua and Mauch Chunk in the upper vein (red-ash
coal; precise locality undetermined).
Sphenopteris Lesquereuxii, Newb., Annals of Science.
Vide our Plate X, fig. 1.
Frond bipinnately divided; pinnae alternate,
long, flexuous, lanceolate; inferior pinnules cordate-oval, distant,
pinnately three to five lobed or undulate; superior ones oval, or half
round, confluent and decurrent, entire; nerves dichotomous, arched,
obsolete medial nerve slender and undulate; rachis irregularly and
deeply dotted or tuberculate.
nervation this species resembles a Neuropteris, and would take its place
in the genus Adiantites, as it has been characterised by M. Goppert. By
the form of its leaflets only it has some affinity with Sphenopteris
Habitat: Room Run Mines, near Mauch Chunk. It is common in the coal-fields of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Sphenopteris squamosa, Lesq., Plate X, fig. 3.
bipinnatifid; pinnae linear, short, obtuse; pinnules nearly square, or
half round, very entire, sessile; the superior ones confluent or
joined together; terminal leaflet large, lobate, angular, obtuse;
nerves entirely obsolete, the surface appearing covered with small
The true place of this
species is doubtful, the leaflets being thick and the nerves entirely
obliterate, either by a thick parenchyma or something like a mat of
scales. It was found in connection with Dictyopteris obliqua, and
resembles the upper branch of this species as we have figured it—Plate
VIII, fig. 6.
Habitat: South Salem Vein, Pottsville.
|Sphenopteris artemisiaefolia, Brongt., Hist. des Veg.
Foss., i. p. 136.
Frond dichotomous, inferior pinnae alternate;
superior ones opposite, bipinnately divided; pinnules unequal,
alternate, petiolate, obtuse, deeply pinnatifid, lobate, or laciniate;
divisions linear or cuneate, with obtuse lobes; nerves numerous,
Habitat: A small specimen of this species has been found near
II. HYMENOPHYLLITES, Gopp.
Frond membraneous, bipinnate
or tripinnate, either irregularly cut, lobate, or pinnatifid and
dichotomous, decurrent on the rachis. Nerves pinnate, excurrent,
solitary in each division.
Hymenophyllites furcatus (?) Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p.
Sphenopteris furcata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., vol. i. p.
179, t. 49, figs. 4, 5.
Frond tripinnatifid, common rachis subulate,
with its divisions nearly perpendicular, pinnules oblique, deeply
pinnatifid, lobes bitrifid, the inferior ones nearly palmately divided,
with the divisions linear-lanceolate, oblique, diverging, plane, and
slightly acute or truncate.
American form of this plant, which may be a peculiar species, the lobes
are scarcely acute, and often truncate. This fern appears to have been a
very large one; it is mixed with stems, some of which are 3 inches in
diameter, and apparently belong to the same plant.
Habitat: In the red shale of the Ponent Series south
of Pottsville, and in the same formation near Mauch Chunk.
Hymenophyllites Hildreti, Lesq., Plate IX, figs. 5, 5
Frond bipinnate, secondary pinnae lanceolate, open, alternate, the
inferior bipinnately, the superior pinnately divided; divisions linear
It has some affinity with Hymenophyllites obtusilobus,
Gopp., but the divisions in our species are evidently acute.
Habitat: Presented by Dr. Hildreth, of Marietta, to whom we have dedicated
this beautiful species, found at Kenawha Salines, on the lowest beds
Hymenophyllites capillaris, Lesq., Plate IX, fig.
The small specimen figured is scarcely worth a description as a
peculiar species. It differs from the former by its very narrow and
longer divisions. The ramification is not distinct. It looks at first
like a branch of a Sphenophyllum; but it is a true Hymenophyllites by
its nervation and its general outline.
Habitat: Found at the same locality as the
former, of which perhaps it is only a variety.
III. PACHYPHYLLUM, Lesq.
Frond large, thick,
membraneous, oval or lanceolate in outline, either pinnately or
irregularly lobed, radical, or borne on a thick rachis (?); divisions
short, lanceolate, obtuse, or long, linear, flexuous. Nerves thick or
compound, and parallel near the base; separating above, and solitary in
each division, or disappearing totally.
We have united in this genus a
few species, of which the analogy with living ferns is scarcely known.
Their affinity with the former genus is indicated only by the solitary
nerve of each division; but beyond this these plants have nothing by
which they might be related to the class of the Phenopterideae. These
plants, at least our Pachyphyllum hirsutum, may be compared to the
family of the Parkeriaceae in the living ferns—viz., to the inferior and
sterile leaves of the Parkeria pteroides, Hooker, found in the marshes
of Guyana. These inferior or sterile leaves are pinnatifid, with about
three divisions, broadly oval in outline, and diversely lobed. The
primary nerve is very thick near the base, simply pinnately branching at
each division, quickly narrowing, and disappearing, like the secondary
nerves, below the summit of the leaves. The divisions of the fertile
leaves are narrow, linear, and much longer, and in these the veinlets
are reticulated in an irregular, polygonal, oval, or square form, as
they are in many of the leaves of the Hypnacece in the family of the
Mosses. By comparison of the figure of Hooker and Greville, Icones, tab.
97, the likeness of the living species with our fossil plant is
striking, and would evidently prove much more so without the thick coat
of hairs with which our plant is covered. The affinity of Pachyphyllum
lactuca with the other species of this genus is scarcely acceptable.
Nevertheless, we think it much more in place in this genus than either
in the Schizopteris, from which it evidently differs by its
single-nerved lobes, or in the Aphlebia, which have no nerve at all.
Pachyphyllum fimbriatum, Lesq., Plate VIII, fig.
Frond large, pinnate, pinnules sessile, distant, oblique, pinnately
divided; divisions lanceolate, acute, short-fringed on the
slightly-recurved margin; nerves pinnate, simple.
Habitat: Salem Vein,
Pachyphyllum affine, Lesq., Plate VIII, fig. 1.
like the former, differing only by the flattened and entirely smooth
margins of the divisions. Perhaps only a variety.
Habitat: Same locality as the
Pachyphyllum hirsutum, Lesq., Plate VIII, fig. 3.
bipinnately divided, dichotomous, pinnae decurrent; divisions short,
oval-acute ; nerves obsolete, the whole surface and margins covered with
long glandular hairs.
A beautiful species, which,
without its affinity with Parkeria, would scarcely be accepted as a
fern. It appears to have had a thick medial nerve, and one nervule for
each of the divisions of the leaves. It is a plant of the same kind as
the two former. It may be compared with Dictyophyllum rugosum, Lind. and
Hutt.; but we cannot see how it can be compared with a thistle, and
classed among the dicotyledonous plants. It has the ramification of an
Habitat: Gate Vein, Westwood.
|Pachyphyllum laceratum, Lesq.
A species like the
former, but smooth, and with the divisions undulate and unequally
Habitat: A small indistinct specimen, found at Johnstown, in the lowest
vein of coal.
Pachyphyllum lactuca, Lesq., Plate VIII, figs. 4, 5.;
Schizopteris lactuca, Sternb.
Frond pinnatifid (?), pinnae lanceolate or
oval in outline; pinnatifid, the lobes lanceolate, pinnately divided,
divisions linear-obtuse; primary nerves obliterate, appearing parallel
and fasciculate below; simple in each division.
This species was evidently of thin texture, and, by this
character, would be well classed among Hymenophyllites. We have seen a
broken specimen, three times as large as fig. 4, of which the leaves or
pinnae appeared as being attached to a broad common rachis, and through
the impression of which the form of fossil ferns below it was
discernible in their outline. The pinnae were about half a foot long;
but the slate was too brittle, and the specimen could not be preserved.
Habitat: Gate Vein, below New
Philadelphia. This species is not scarce, either in the coal-formation of America or
that of Europe.
Frond either simple, pinnate,
bi-tripinnate, or bi-tripinnatifid; pinnules attached to the rachis by
the whole of an equal or delated base, ordinarily united together, and
very seldom attenuated; medial nerve strongly marked; secondary nerves
or nervules ordinarily perpendicular to the medial nerve, or diverging
from it, simple, and rarely forking or dichotomous, bi-trifurcate.
Fruit-dots marginal, either attached to the nerves, and lengthened or
We have removed from this section all the genera admitted by
Goppert, and characterised by the form and the position of the
fructification, except one—Asplenites. In this genus only the form of
the fruit-dots is evidently lengthened as in the Asplenium, and their
form is easily discernible. But in every other specimen of fructified
fern that we have found, we have been unable to find any reliable
characters which authorise a separation from the genus Pecopteris. That
this genus is overcharged with species that have no near affinity with
each other, is evident. But the separation of the genera, determined by
the form and the position of the fruit-dots, before the whole of a plant
is perfectly known, causes only increased obscurity, and a useless
multiplication of species, by compelling the admission of a fructified
part of a fern into one genus, whilst the sterile part of the same is
classed and described in another.
Fruit-dots linear, attached to the
back of secondary nerves; nerves pinnate, nervules simple or
dichotomous; frond pinnate or bi-tripinnate.
|Asplenites rubra, Lesq.
Frond bipinnate (or
tripinnate ?); pinnae broadly linear, half open, alternate; pinnules
oval-oblong, united at the base; nervules forking from the base;
fruit-dots linear, placed in two rows between the margins and the medial
nerves; rachis thick.
It has a close affinity with
Asplenites nodosus (Gopp.), and only differs from it by the stem being
not inflated, and knotty at the articulations of the pinnae, and by the
nervules forking from the base.
Habitat: The remains or impressions of this fern cover of
themselves a bed of red shale of the upper part of the coal-basin near
Marietta, Ohio, in a depression of a rock named, from the presence of
this fern, the Grotto of Flowers.
ALETHOPTERIS, Sternb. and Gopp.
or bi-tripinnate, secondary nerves rising perpendicularly or obliquely
from the medial one, simple or dichotomous, and many times forking;
margins of the pinnules often revolute (turned back). Fruit unknown.
Alethopteris lonchitidis, Sternb., Vers., p. 21;
Pecopteris lonchitica, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., vol. i. p. 275, t.
84, figs. 2, 3, 4, t. 128.
Frond bi-tripinnate; pinnae open,
alternate, the inferior ones bipinnatifid; the superior ones pinnatifid;
pinnules open, alternate, lanceolate-linear, long, acute, slightly
oblique, decurrent at the base, and united or distinct, convex on the
margins; medial nerve broad, canaliculate, dearly excurrent; nervules
perpendicular, slender, close, simple or dichotomous.
Habitat: Found in abundance
in the lower beds of the coal-field of Ohio, especially at Cuyahoga
Falls and Kenawha Salines, Virginia; and also in the upper beds of the
anthracite coal at Pottsville. Gate and Salem Veins.
Alethopteris Pennsylvanica, Lesq., Plate XI, figs. 1
Inferior pinnae bipinnatifid, with short, round pinnules, united
half their length; superior pinnae pinnate only, with long
lanceolate-linear and undulate pinnules, slightly decurrent on the
rachis, and united at the base.
Perhaps this is
only a variety of the former species, for it has exactly the same
general appearance, and the same nervation. Nevertheless, as we have
never seen, in the true Alethopteris lonchitidis, any trace of the lower
bipinnate frond, and have never seen any undulate-serrulate pinnules,
as figured in Plate XI, fig. 1, we could not unite the species. Both
parts of the plant of Plate XI, figs. 1 and 2, evidently belong to the
same fern; and we have here a confirmation of the analogy of this class
of the Pecopterideae with the Pteris of our age. In our Pteris aquilina,
for example, the inferior pinnae are bipinnatifid below, like our fig.
2, and only pinnate above. And on the same plant also the pinnules are
found either entire, or undulate-crenate, like fig. 1.
Habitat: Salem Vein, Pottsville.
Alethopteris aquilina, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 298;
Pecopteris aquilina, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., vol, i. p. 248, t. 90.
bipinnatifid; pinnules very open, close, oblong obtuse, united at the
slightly-decurrent base, or sometimes separated to the rachis; the
terminal leaflet oblong obtuse; secondary nerves perpendicular to the
medial one, either bifurcate, or with one of the nervules simple.
species is often mentioned as being commonly found in the coal-basins of
America; and we have seen many specimens under this name in
Collections. Nevertheless, we could not find any well-characterised
specimen of it, and all those which were shown to us under this name
belong, we think, without any exception, to Pecopteris polymorpha; and
so we mention this species with doubt as belonging to the American
Alethopteris urophylla, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 300;
Pecopteris urophylla, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 290, t.
Frond bi-tripinnatifid; pinnatifid only above; terminal pinnae
linear, very long, entire, decurrent; inferior pinnae deeply
pinnatifid, terminated in a linear elongated leaflet; lateral pinnules
united at the base, oblong linear, slightly obtuse; secondary nerves
very thin, simple or dichotomous, slightly oblique.
Habitat: A small specimen
found at the Gate Vein, Pottsville.
Alethopteris Serlii, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 301, t. 21
Pecopteris Serlii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 292, t.
Frond bipinnatifid; pinnules oblong, oblique, enlarged and
decurrent at the base, obtuse or slightly acute; terminal leaflet
lanceolate; secondary nerves nearly perpendicular to the medial one,
very numerous and thin, close, dichotomous.
Habitat: Both varieties of this
species are abundant in the lowest veins of the Bituminous coal and
anthracite basins of Pennsylvania.
|This variety, identical with the
European species, with obtuse leaflets, was found at Room Run mines,
above Mauch Chunk, and at many other places in the Mammoth Vein
|Variety Beta, with the pinnules slightly acute, was found at
Wilkesbarre, at Minersville, and also at the Kenawha Salines, Virginia.
Alethopteris marginata, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 301;
Pecopteris marginata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 291, t.
Frond bipinnatifid, pinnae sessile, open, deeply pinnatifid;
pinnules contiguous, oblong, slightly obtuse, decurrent, and united
together, undulate-sinuate, and slightly emarginate; terminal leaflet
oblong, lanceolate, obtuse; rachis and medial nerves rough; nervules
very slender, perpendicular to the medial nerves, nearly simple.
In our specimen the pinnules are smaller, but probably
represent the upper part of a frond; the leaflets are sessile, scarcely
decurrent, and nearly distinct to the base.
Alethopteris distans, Lesq., Plate XII, fig. 2.
bipinnatifid; pinnae open, linear lanceolate; pinnules alternate,
linear, distant, crenulate, enlarged but distinct at the base; united
only in the upper part of the terminal pinnae, where they become
broader, shorter, and obtuse; secondary nerves obsolete.
We publish this species as a new one with some doubt, though we
do not know anything for which it might be taken. It has a distant
likeness to Alethopteris Davrenzii, differing from it by the crenulate
leaflets. It may be also the upper part of the frond either of
Pecopteris abbreviata, or of Pecopteris plumosa. As the nervules are
entirely obsolete, and we can rely only on the form of the pinnules—a
deceptive character—we cannot assert anything else except the peculiar
form of these leaflets.
Habitat: Found at Muddy
Alethopteris obscura, Lesq., Plate I, figs. 13,
Frond bipinnatifid, pinnae pinnatifid above; pinnules lanceolate,
enlarged at the base, united together, and decurrent above, distinct
below; deeply undulate on the margins, secondary nerves obsolete, very
slender and oblique, bifurcate.
species, distinct from all its congeners by the peculiar position of its
secondary nerves rising from the narrow undulate medial nerve in a very
acute angle. We have found only the specimens figured here, which
probably represent the upper part of a frond.
Habitat: Gate Vein, Pottsville.
Alethopteris serrula, Lesq., Plate XII, fig. 1.
pinnatifid, very large; pinnules alternate, sessile, quite open, or
inclined backwards; 4 inches long, and more linear, pinnately lobed;
lobes alternate, two to three times toothed, sometimes nearly entire,
obtuse; secondary nerves dichotomous, forking one or two times.
This remarkable species is related to
Pecopteris angustissima and Pecopteris similis, Sternb., but perfectly
distinct from both by the long leaflets, the lobes of which are once or
twice toothed. The rachis is round and smooth. This fossil fern has so
much affinity with Davallia pinnata, Der. (Saccoloma pinnatum, Presl.),
that it is scarcely possible to find any difference between them. The
fruit appears to be in the same position, and if this is the case, this
plant would necessarily be far removed from the genus Pecopteris.
Vein behind Port Carbon.
Alethopteris nervosa, Gopp., Syst. File. Foss., p.
Frond bi-tripinnate; pinnae and pinnules nearly open; pinnules
entire, oblique, oblong, lanceolate or oval, enlarged at the base,
decurrent and united together; terminal pinnule oval, or linear oblong,
the inferior leaflet of each pinna bilobate; secondary nerves
distinct, oblique on the medial nerve, the inferior ones forking, the
superior entire, thick.
This species is very
variable. Sometimes the leaflets are large and acute; sometimes near
the top of the fronds the pinnae are only pinnately lobed with round
short lobes, entire, oval, obtuse, or slightly undulate. Vide Plate
XVIII, fig. 3. We have had opportunities for finding it by itself on the
same slate in its different varieties, and for ascertaining that the
species described by M. Brongniart, and figured Plate XCV, figs. 1 and 2
of his Hist. des Veg. Foss., belong truly to this, and not to
Pecopteris Sauveurei, as has been asserted by M. Goppert.
Habitat: This species is abundant in the anthracite
basins of Pennsylvania, at Shamokin, Pottsville, &c.
Alethopteris laevis, Lesq.
Under this name, and till it
is better known, we mention a form of which we could only obtain small
specimens, and which does not appear to differ from the former, except
by its entirely smooth surface, on which there cannot be seen any trace,
either of secondary nerves or of medial ones. The pinnules are scarcely
broader than in the former species, and the inferior leaflet is
Habitat: Found at Gate Vein, New Philadelphia.
Alethopteris muricata, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 313;
Pecopteris muricata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., p. 352, t.
Frond bipinnatifid or tripinnatifid, pinnae or pinnules open,
superior leaflets oval-lanceolate, acute, close, slightly decurrent at
the base, the inferior ones distant, irregularly, pinnately lobed;
lobes oval-acute, secondary nerves dichotomous, oblique on the medial
nerve, simple or furcate.
Habitat: South Salem Vein, Pottsville. There is no
difference between the American and the European form of this species.
III. CALLIPTERIS, Brongt., Tab. des Veg. Foss., p.
Frond bipinnatifid; pinnae long, decurrent on the common rachis;
pinnules contiguous, slightly oblique, united and decurrent at the base;
medial nerve arched and oblique; secondary nerves oblique, bifurcate;
fruit-dots punctiform, inserted on the divisions of the nerves near
We have adopted this genus as it is established by M.
Brongniart, admitting in it only those species which have the nervation
of Neuropteris, but which, by their general outline, and the punctiform
fructification, belong to Pecopteris.
|Callipteris Sullivantii, Lesq., Plate V, fig. 13.
bipinnate, pinna lanceolate, pinnules alternate, oblique, obovate or
oblong, nearly contiguous, slightly decurrent by their base, and united
together with a slightly-obtuse sinus. Medial nerve very broad,
disappearing above the middle; secondary nerves arched, slender, close,
many times forking, or dichotomous.
species, dedicated to our friend W. S. Sullivant, Esq., the well-known
American Bryologist. The nearest species described is Neuropteris
conferta, Sternb., of which M. Goppert has given a good description,
with drawings (Gatt. Foss., Plates V, VI, t. 8, 9, fig. 2). In our
species the pinnae are shorter, broader, and lanceolate; the pinnules
are never separated to the rachis, and the superior leaflet is very
small. The broad flat medial nerve vanishing above the middle is also a
point of difference.
Habitat: West Vein at Shamokin.
IV. PECOPTERIS, Brongt.
Fronds bi-tripinnate or
pinnatifid, pinnae ordinarily enlarged, united together, and decurrent
at the base, or sometimes separated, distinct and sessile; secondary
nerves rising obliquely from the medial one; dichotomous or simple;
fruit-dots round, diversely placed, ordinarily two-ranked.
Pecopteris Cistii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 330, t. 106, figs. 1,2;
Pecopteris pteroides, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 329 (Tremont, roof New Vein);
Alethopteris Cistii, Gopp.,
Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 316.
Frond bipinnate; pinnae and pinnules open;
pinnules entire, oval, oblong, obtuse, free and sessile by the slightly
enlarged base; terminal leaflet short, oval, the inferior attached to
the common rachis at the base of the pinnae; secondary nerves
dichotomous, slender, the nervules forking.
All the specimens which we collected there, as related to
this species, were, after a closer examination, referred to the
Habitat: This species appears to be
very scarce in the anthracite basins: it was sent to M. Brongniart from
Pecopteris polymorpha, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i.
pp. 331, 332, t. 113;
Pecopteris Miltoni, Brongt., loc. cit., pp. 333, 114;
Cyatheites Miltoni, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 324.
Frond tripinnatifid; rachis smooth; pinnae and pinnules open, alternate; pinnules
slightly contracted at the base, close to each other, oblong, obtuse,
the medial ones sinuate, the inferior pinnatifid; fertile leaflets
longer, and somewhat crenulate; secondary nerves dichotomous, nearly
perpendicular to the medial nerve; nervules simple or forking.
Vein, Pottsville, Muddy Creek, &c. Though we have found many
varieties of this species, which is common in the anthracite basin, we
could not observe a reliable character to separate it from Pecopteris
Miltoni. We should even, perhaps, refer to it the following species.
Pecopteris distans, Lesq., Plate XI, fig. 3.
differs from the former only by its distant pinnules, oval-lanceolate,
narrowed at the base, and sessile only by the base of the thickened
medial nerve. Same locality as the former. This species may perhaps be
the same as Pecopteris elliptica, Bunb. (Proc. of Geol. Soc., vol. ii.
p. 84); but it differs by the veins, which are branching from the
middle, or from the base; and by the leaflets, which are not decurrent
on the stem.
Pecopteris velutina, Lesq., Plate XII, fig. 3.
bipinnatifid; lower pinnae very open; pinnate, short, linear-lanceolate;
pinnules distinct, enlarged above the base, sessile, united only near
the summit of the pinnae, where they form a large lanceolate oval and
lobate terminal leaflet; upper pinnae simple, pinnately undulate, lobed
or entire; nerves obsolete, the surface being covered with a coat of
short appressed hairs; fruit-dots placed only at the upper part of the
pinnules, few, two-ranked, large, oval.
Habitat: We have found at Johnstown, in
one of the lowest beds of the coal, a beautiful and well-preserved
specimen of this species. By the form of the leaflets only, it has some
likeness with Pecopteris Defrancii, but it is a very different plant.
Pecopteris ovata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p.
328, t. 107, fig. 4;
Alethopteris ovata, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p.
Frond bipinnatifid; pinnae linear, lanceolate, acute; superior
pinnules oval, the inferior ones oblong, obtuse, convex, enlarged at the
base, and united, the lowest leaflet attached to the common rachis at
the base of the pinnae; secondary nerves dichotomous, very thin, two or
three times forked, attached to the medial one in an acute angle.
In our American specimens the pinnae are very long,
pointed, and the terminal leaflet lanceolate. If this species is
identical with the European one (only to be ascertained by a comparison
of specimens), M. Brongniart has only seen or described the upper part
of a frond, for in the inferior pinnae the leaflets are much longer and
narrower, resembling those of Pecopteris Defrancii. The nervation is
perfectly alike in the American species, as described by M. Brongniart.
Pecopteris notata, Lesq., Plate XVIII, fig. 4.
tripinnate; secondary pinnae horizontal, short, linear-lanceolate,
obtuse, sessile; pinnules short, oval, united nearly to the middle;
terminal leaflet large, oval, obtuse; nervules strongly marked, one
time forking, attached to the undulate slender medial nerve in an acute
angle; rachis striate; fruit-dots very small, punctiform, irregularly
placed along the nervules between the branches.
The short and broad leaflets, and especially the
strongly-marked though slender nervules, separate this species from the
following. It is covered with small dots, pointing in relief on the
surface of the leaflets, and irregularly placed between the nervules. We
think that they are the impressions of fruit-dots. If we are right,
this species would belong to the genus Hemitelites of Goppert.
Habitat: The Gate Vein,
Pecopteris oreopteridis, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 317, t. 104, fig. 2, and 105, figs. 1-3.
pinnae and pinnules open, close, alternate; pinnules distinct, sessile,
elliptical, obtuse; nervules forking from the base or the middle,
oblique; fertile leaflets distant, longer, oval-lanceolate, with the
Habitat: The Gate Vein and Salem Vein, Pottsville.
Pecopteris pusilla, Lesq., Plate XI, fig. 4.
bipinnate; pinnae oblique, linear, nearly decurrent on a broad,
flexuous, and winged smooth rachis; pinnules very small, united above
the middle, oval, hairy, the lowest a little larger; nervules simple,
It much resembles the smallest forms
of the following species, but differs in the hairiness of the leaves. It
differs also from Pecopteris villosa by the smooth rachis and the small
size of all its parts.
Habitat: Salem Vein, Pottsville.
Pecopteris arborescens, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p.310, t. 101, 103, fig. 1.
Frond bipinnate or tripinnate, with a
smooth-winged rachis; pinnae long, close to each other, open; pinnules
imbricated, but free to the base, equal, oblong, oval, short, and very
obtuse; terminal leaflet larger; secondary nerves simple, oblique.
is commonly found in the upper beds of the anthracite coal, as at the
Gate and Salem veins, at Pottsville, with both its varieties, Pecopteris
platyrachis, Brongt. (loc. cit., p. 312, t. 103, figs. 4, 5), which
only differs from the normal form in the thickness of the rachis, and
Pecopteris dubia, Lesq., which has the rachis covered with long
Pecopteris cyathea, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p.
307, t. 101.
Frond bipinnate or tripinnate (?); rachis smooth; pinnae
and pinnules very open; pinnules unequal, very close to each other,
linear-oval, obtuse, separated to the base; secondary nerves simple or
forked once only, perpendicular to the medial nerve; fruit-dots
two-ranked, small in the divisions of the nervules; fertile pinnules,
with the margins curved backwards.
Habitat: A species commonly found in the upper
beds of the anthracite basin, at the Gate Vein of Port Carbon, and
scarcely distinguishable from the former.
Pecopteris arguta, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p.
303, t. 108, fig. 3;
Polypodites elegans, Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 344, t.
15, fig. 10.
Frond pinnate; pinnae open, straight, very long, close to
each other; pinnules equal, contiguous, united at the base, linear,
oblong, obtuse, undulate-plicate on the margins; secondary nerves
simple, oblique, well marked, straight.
Habitat: The South Salem Vein, Pottsville; commonly found in the upper beds of the coal-basins.
Pecopteris abbreviata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i.
p. 337, t. 115, figs. 1-4.
Frond bi-tripinnatifid; pinnules oblong,
obtuse, crenate, or slightly pinnately lobed; lobes round, convex, very
short or longer, like pinnules; nerves pinnately forking in each
division, ordinarily forking again from the middle.
A variable species. In our specimen the
nervules are obsolete.
Habitat: Found in the low
beds of coal at Trevorton.
Pecopteris unita, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p.
342, t. 116, figs. 1, 5.
Frond bipinnatifid; pinnae oblong, pinnatifid;
pinnules united to the middle, sometimes in their whole length, so that
the pinnae are only crenulate on the margins; medial nerve of each
pinnule oblique; nervules pinnate, simple, very oblique; fruit-dots
simple two-ranked, attached on the simple nervules; fertile leaflets,
with the margins recurved. In each of these varieties [below] the
fruit-dots preserve the same position.
[There are two variants:]
pectinate, Brongt. (loc. cit.), pinnae entire, and only crenulate on
Habitat: At the South Salem Vein,
||Pecopteris unita, Brongt. (Prod., p. 58), majus,
pinnae pinnatifid, the pinnules united only to the middle.
Habitat: Muddy Creek.
Pecopteris concinna, Lesq., Plate XI, fig. 5.
bipinnate; pinnae open, with an undulate rachis; pinnules oval,
lanceolate, sessile by a narrowed base, distant and perpendicular to the
rachis; pinnately undulate, lobed; secondary nerves pinnate in each
lobe; nervules simple. A fine species, differing
from Pecopteris abbreviata by the form of the pinnules, and from
Pecopteris angustissima by its nervation.
Habitat: Gate Vein, Pottsville.
Pecopteris pennaeformis, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 345, t. 118, figs. 3, 4.
Frond tripinnatifid; pinnae long, linear; rachis covered with small glandular points; pinnules slightly united
at the base, elliptical, oblong, obtuse, perpendicular to the rachis;
the lowest slightly longer; secondary nerves pinnately forked;
nervules ordinarily forking again from the middle.
Habitat: Tremont New Vein.
Pecopteris plumosa, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., p.
348, t. 121, 122.
Frond tripinnatifid; pinnae long, acute; superior
pinnules united, triangular, acute, with the secondary nerves simple;
medial pinnules oblong-triangular, more obtuse, enlarged, and united at
the base, with the secondary nerves ordinarily forking; inferior
pinnules oblong-obtuse, scarcely enlarged, and united at the base, very
entire, the lowest oblong-linear, crenulate on the margins, distant,
with all the nervules forked.
Habitat: Scarce in Pennsylvania; found only at the
South Salem Vein, Pottsville.
Pecopteris Sillimanni, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i.
p. 353, t. 96, fig. 5.
Frond bipinnatifid; pinnae short, the superior
entire, the inferior ones pinnatifid, seven to nine lobed; pinnules or
lobes nearly round, obtuse, nearly contiguous; the lower distant, the
upper ones united at the base; terminal lobe short, oval, entire, or
three crenate; nervules very slender, forking one or two times; medial
nerve scarcely more distinct than the lateral ones.
Specimens of this
species were sent to M. Brongniart from Zanesville, Ohio. We could not
find any specimen of this species either in the field or in the cabinets
which we have examined.
Pecopteris Loschii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p.
355, t. 96, fig. 6.
Frond bi-tripinnate; pinnae and pinnules
shortening; inferior pinnae bipinnate, with the upper pinnules united
together; the medial ones separated to the narrowed base, and distant,
ovate, acute; the lowest two five-lobed, nearly pinnatifid; nervules
very slender, arched, forking from the middle.
Habitat: The Salem Vein,
Pottsville. The American specimens of this species do not differ from
Pecopteris decurrens, Lesq., Plate XI, fig. 5 a.
bipinnatifid; pinnae opposite, the superior ones terminal by the
forking of the rachis; pinnules distant, oval-oblong, obtuse, entire,
contracted at the base on the upper side; dilated on the lower, and
decurrent on the rachis, which is broadly winged; medial nerve
undulate, scarcely thicker than the lateral ones, which are simple, or
sometimes forked and arched; primary rachis flattened and broad,
enlarged at the articulations of the pinnae, striate; and roughened by
very small glandular points.
species, which does not well agree with Pecopteris, and should be taken
as the type of a peculiar genus.
Habitat: The Gate Vein, Pottsville.
Pecopteris incompleta, Lesq., Plate I, fig. 12, 12a.
bipinnatifid; pinnae oblique, scarcely open, lanceolate; pinnules oval,
or nearly round, decurrent, united at the base, very oblique; the
superior ones very small, and the terminal wanting, its place being
taken by the lengthened secondary rachis pointing above the leaflets;
This specimen is so imperfect that we cannot ascertain
whether it represents only a part of a fern before its complete
unfolding, or if this peculiarity of form belongs to a species in its
state of perfection.
The small specimen figured here was found at the
Gate Vein, Pottsville.
|FERNS OF UNDETERMINED AFFINITY.
CREMATOPTERIS, V. P. Schimper.
Frond simply pinnate,
rachis broad; pinnules vertical, oblique, oval-oblong, entire;
nervation obsolete. Fruit: dots placed on the inferior pinnules, which
are turned backwards, and are smaller than the upper ones.
has been established for a single species found in the red sandstone of
the Vosges, Crematopteris typica, Sap. and Mouzeot, Monog. of Fossil
Pl., p. 73; Filicites scolopendrioides, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss.,
i. p. 388, t. 137, figs. 2, 3. Its relation with Pecopteridiae is not
ascertained, as there has not been found any trace of nervation in these
Crematopteris Pennsylvanica, Lesq., Plate III, fig.
Rachis very thick, round, nearly smooth, or irregularly striate;
pinnules short, linear-oval, distant, sessile on the broad rachis,
slightly attenuated at the base; nerves entirely obsolete.
This plant is not in as good a state of preservation as
would be desirable for a satisfactory description; nevertheless it
appears to belong to this genus. Its presence on a shale covered with
marine shells would perhaps lead to the supposition that the plant is
some fucoide, or sea-weed. We have examined closely the locality, and
have been able to find there many other vegetable remains, all of them
belonging to ferns and to calamites, especially a Sphenopteris.
Habitat: The specimen
figured here is in the collection of Rev. Mr. Moore of Greensburg, and
was found by himself near this place in black shale, covered with marine
shells, a little above the fourth vein of coal, and at the base of the
Frond simple, lanceolate, large,
deeply irregularly toothed; medial nerves very slender; nervules thin,
pinnately forking from the medial nerve in a very acute angle, nearly
straight and scarcely arched, undulate, very distant, one to two lines;
forking one time in the middle, and each nervule forking again near the
This genus has no affinity with any of the other genera of
fossil ferns. In the form of the leaves it would resemble the living
Scolopendria of our time, but its nervation is different, the medial
nerve being much more slender, and the nervules much more erect, or not
so divergent from the medial nerve. Nevertheless the divergence of the
nervules is less marked in some species of the genus Scolopendrium, as
in Scolopendrium hastatum, Duby; and also Scolopendrium hemionitis.
The general outline of the
leaves of Halypteris scolopendrina, Hooker, and Vittaria isoctifolia,
is also much alike; but the veins are simple in both these species, and
more diverging. This plant, by its nervation, resembles perhaps some
species of Osmundae with large leaves—the largest leaflets of Osmunda
regalis, for example.
But its affinity with this genus is not so close
as with the former ones, and as we cannot compare it with any other, we
have preferred to name it after the living genus, which it resembles in
the form of its leaves.
Scolopendrites grosse dentata, Lesq., Plate VIII, fig.
The species corresponds to the description of the genus of which it
is the type. The texture of the leaves was very thin, entirely smooth
and shining, and its size probably large. The shale being very brittle,
we could not preserve a better specimen than the one figured here. Many
of these leaves, of which the outline was obliterated, appeared
wrinkled, as if they had been crushed in no one given direction.
Habitat: We found a few specimens of it
at the Gate Vein, New Philadelphia.
The true relation of some of the sterns found in the
coal, with their branches and leaves, is indicated either by their form
or by the situation in which they have been found, and also by the
branches attached to them. This is the case, for example, with the
Calamites. But when we come to the examination of most of the large
trunks or stumps found in the coal of transition, we are only able to
assert, by the impressions of their bark, either that they belonged to
the bark of some fern tree, or to some genus of plants resembling the
Lycopodiaceae of our time. The study of those trees which are sometimes
found well preserved in a petrified state is now satisfactorily
progressing, by the examination of the internal structure of the wood.
But this examination is possible only with the aid of a strong
microscope, or very thin polished plates of the matter. As we have not
until now had the facility for preparing these plates, and as all the
petrified wood which we have seen in the coal-basins of Pennsylvania has
been transformed into sandstone, and its vessels entirely obliterated,
we can only rely for our descriptions on the prints left by the base of
the leaves on the bark of those trees, and not attempt a classification
fixed on other characters.
For the facility of our descriptions we shall separate
all the vegetable remains which have not been mentioned above, into
|1st, Stems.—In the slates covering or supporting the
coal, nothing remains of the trees which have been heaped for the
formation of the coal except the impressions of their bark. We have
given in the introduction such reasons as we could for the explanation
of this remarkable phenomenon. Sometimes, it is true, the form of a tree
is preserved entire, but this is seldom the case; and when it happens
in the sandstone, the woody matter has entirely disappeared, and been
transformed into sandstone, and the mould only of the external form
remains marked upon the stone. Many of those trees became very large,
and the impressions of their leaves, very small at first, but growing up
and enlarging with them, and undergoing some modifications, may lead
the observer into some unavoidable mistakes. As soon after as it was
possible, we have compared specimens of different ages, and our
descriptions of new species are exclusively in accordance with the form,
but never with the size, of the impressions.
I. CAULOPTERIS, Lind. and Hutt.
Stem very thick,
tree-like, round, marked without with large scars left by the insertion
of the petioles of leaves; scars disposed spirally, oblong, oval, with a
broad double or simple margin (annulus), marked in the middle by a
fascicule of vessels—simple, oval, or curved above, horn-like.
species belonging to this genus, which, as we have asserted, contains
the Ptychopteris, Stemmatopteris, and Caulopteris of Corda, the scars
are ordinarily obsolete, and sometimes covered with the rootlets
attached to the stem. The true form of the fascicule of vessels is
visible only on one scar of our fig. 1, Plate XIII, in a, and it is
easy to see how it has been overlooked till now, this form becoming
entirely changed by the obliteration of the horns. Following the
observations of Mr. Lindley, and other authors, the scars in this genus
are identical with those left on the stems of the tree-ferns by the
falling of their leaves.
Caulopteris punctata, Lesq., Plate XIII, fig. 1.
oval, obtuse, about 2 inches long, distant, with a broad smooth margin;
fascicule of vessels simple, oval, forming the margin, and curved above
in two horns. Interval between the scars thickly dotted with round
elevated points resembling glands, but probably the base of small
Habitat: A beautiful species found at the Gate Vein, New Philadelphia.
difference between this species and the former is not only in the larger
size of the scars, but in the entirely smooth surface, and the
divergence between the horns of the vascular fascicule.
Habitat: The small
specimen figured here is preserved in the beautiful collection of Mr.
Clarkson at Carbondale.
Caulopteris Cistii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 418, t.
140, fig. 2.
In this species the form of the vascular fascicule is
entirely obliterated; but it differs evidently from the two former by
the intervals furrowed in the length—the scars being more distant, with a
Habitat: It has been found at Wilkesbarre, sent to Europe, and
described by M. Brongniart. We have not seen any specimens of it.
II. PSARONIUS, Corda.
Stem thick and tree-like,
cylindrical or angular, externally marked with scars, the form of which
is obliterated by a thick coat of rootlets covering nearly the whole
stem; bark thick and hard. The internal structure of these trees is
beautifully illustrated and described by M. Corda in his Beytrage. These
fossil remains represent, we think, the petrified root-stalk of some
large ferns, and do not belong, as M. Brongniart supposes, to the
Lepidodendron. They are found in great abundance in some places, always
in short thick stumps, which, either by the rootlets with which they are
covered, or by their form and their internal structure, resemble the
short trunks of large ferns as they are found in the tropical islands,
especially on the mountains of Java. We cannot describe any species of
this genus for the reason mentioned above—viz., the impossibility of
polishing thin plates of them for microscopical investigation. But it is
necessary for us to mention this genus, for the abundance of the
specimens found in the coal-basins, and for their peculiar situation.
Habitat: Their place, wherever they have been found, is at the base of the Barren
measures, a little above the fourth vein of coal, and very near the
slates covered with marine shells and impressions of fern. There are a
great many specimens at Greensburg, in the cabinets of the Rev. Mr.
Moore, and of Dr. King, and especially at Marietta, in the beautiful
cabinet of Dr Hildreth. These latter have been found near Athens, Ohio,
but the others were collected around Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The
specimens of Ohio are entirely silicified; and those which Mr. Hildreth
has had polished in Europe present as fine an appearance as the most
beautiful agate. We have seen Psaronius also at Charlestown, Virginia,
on the Great Kenawha Saline, and at Gallipolis, Ohio.
III. DIPLOSTEGIUM, Corda, Beytrage, p. 112.
tree-like, equal, round, marked with elevated scars, very near each
other, and spirally; top of the elevated scars abruptly cut,
Diplostegium Brownianum, Corda, Beyt., p. 112, tab.
This species is the only one of the genus described. It much
resembles a Knorria, except that the elevated scars are abruptly cut and
transversely broken, and not rounded at the top. Our species agrees
well with the one described by M. Corda.
Habitat: We have found a
specimen of this species at Summit Portage, below the Ponent, in a bank
of sandstone, containing also large bivalve shells.
|IV. STIGMARIA, Brongt.
Stems creeping, 2 or 3 inches in
diameter; dichotomous, covered with leaf-like round appendages, either
simple or forking; slightly contracted at the base, with a single
central vascular fascicule; scars round, with a double ring and a
single elevated point (mamilla) in the middle.
Every author who has
studied the fossil plants has had a peculiar opinion about these fossil
remains, the most abundant of any in the Coal-measures. It has been
asserted, on the observations of Mr. Joseph Hooker especially, that they
were the roots of a peculiar genus of trees—probably the Sigillaria. We
have had many good opportunities of examining large specimens of these
vegetable remains in the coal-basins of Pennsylvania, and we have come
nearly to the same conclusion. Near Minersville there is a flattened
rock, entirely covered with Stigmaria ficoides on a surface of about 70
feet long and 25 broad. All the branches are nearly equal in diameter,
and all dichotomous or forking, and, forking again, extending themselves
in every direction, and evidently creeping on the mud or on a soft
ground, where their rootlets or leaves supported them. We cannot say,
with Messrs. Lindley and Hutton, that they are coming out from a common
axis; but that, at their point of union, they support a trunk of
Sigillaria, or of another species of tree. At Minersville there is no
trace of such an axis, but it has been observed many times; and we have
ourselves seen, in the collection of Mr. Moore, a beautiful specimen,
illustrating the manner of branching of the roots from the tree. The
stump is about 6 inches in diameter, with pretty large scars, and
divided below into three diverging branches, of which the diameters are
about a third of the diameter of the trunk, and of which the scars are
slightly smaller, and of nearly the same form. As the specimen is a
mould in the sandstone, the scars, which appear triangular, are not very
distinct. This disposition of long creeping root-stalks is in perfect
accordance with the places which the vegetables forming the coal
occupied. It was the only one which could be devised to sustain large
trees on a soft and ordinarily inundated ground. It explains the
disproportion in the scarcity of trees with the great abundance of
Stigmaria; for these plants having a growth by themselves, and probably
nearly independent of the aerial plant or the tree, as is the case in
some creeping and running plants, were extended in every direction,
covering the ground by a network of their branches, and thrusting an
aerial branch or a tree in some favourable condition. We cannot record
here the observations made by different authors to prove that the
internal structure of the Stigmaria is the same as the structure of the
roots, but only eliminate, by a common observation, the opinion that the
Stigmariae and their leaves were fleshy plants, somewhat like the Cacti
of our time, or like some Euphorbiae. That they were hard plants is
established by this fact—that they are found sometimes preserved in
their outline, and scarcely flattened, in circumstances where all other
vegetable remains have been entirely flattened or destroyed; and also
that they are the only ones of which the impressions are preserved in
the coal; the same may be said of their rootlets, generally named
leaves. And as the coal is sometimes a compound of their remains only,
it is not possible to deny that their texture was essentially woody,
like the texture of ferns. Of their relation to Sigillaria we will
assert nothing; but we think that their relation is as near to
Lepidodendron as to Sigillaria. We have seen some impressions of
Stigmaria possessing the form of Sigillaria, but the transition was not
very distinct. As the number of trees, especially of Sigillaria, is
large, and there are a great many different species of them, we think
that it would be right to admit many species of Stigmaria, instead of
classifying them in two or three species with a quantity of varieties.
Stigmaria ficoides, Brongt.
Stems creeping, branches alternate,
dichotomous; rootlets long and round; intervals between the scars
smooth or plaited, ribbed or wrinkled.
Habitat: It is the most common plant found
in the coal-basins of Pennsylvania, especially in the lower veins. It
has been many times asserted that these Stigmaria are commonly found in
the shale of the bottom of the veins, and that they are scarcely present
in the shales of the roof. We have carefully examined the general
position of these plants, and have found them evenly distributed in the
whole extent of the coal-basin, but generally in greater abundance in
the low beds of coal. Sometimes this abundance at a particular locality
is astonishing, either at the roof or at the bottom of the seams—so much
so, that there are no traces of any other vegetables; but this
predominance is nowhere so general a fact that we can draw any
conclusions as to their distribution. In the bottom and also in the roof
shales of the Mammoth Vein at Minersville, they are so plentiful that
they entirely cover the slates; but one finds them nearly as abundant
on the roof of the South Salem Vein at Pottsville—a vein generally
considered as the uppermost of the anthracite series. Perhaps it may be
asked why we admit these plants as creeping ones. It is easy to answer.
On all the large surfaces covered with Stigmaria that we have examined,
we have seen them horizontally placed, though they had preserved their
cylindrical form in many instances; and in such cases their rootlets
were descending in the shale in every direction, varying from a very
oblique position to a perpendicular one.
Stigmaria anabathra, Corda, Beytr., Plate XXXVI, p. 14.
forking, creeping; intervals between the scars either plated-ribbed or
A very variable species, if we adopt the diagnosis established
on the internal structure of the wood, without taking into account its
external character. But we think that these internal characters—viz. the
thickness of the woody cylinder, and the breadth of the vessels—may
belong to many species.
Habitat: Commonly found with the former.
Stigmaria costata, Lesq., Plate II, fig. 3.
Differs from the former
by the nearly regular, strong, and elevated ribs which separate the rows
of scars placed in regular order, resembling the spiral position of the
scars of Sigillaria. Perhaps our specimen was broken from the base of a Sigillaria. Perhaps this
species is Stigmaria regularis, Brongt. (Prod., p. 88), a species
mentioned but not yet described by this author.
Habitat: Found at Salem Vein,
Stigmaria umbonata, Lesq.
Differs from Stigmaria ficoides by the
scars being at least twice as broad and elevated, and having a single
ring at the border. It may be Stigmaria tuberculosa, Brongt. (Prod., p.
88), an undescribed species.
Stigmaria irregularis, Lesq., Plate II, No. 4.
Stem deeply and
narrowly ribbed; scars distant and scarce, oval, sometimes acute at
both ends, sometimes round, placed without order.
As we have only the
small specimen figured here, it
would have been perhaps as well to omit mentioning it. Its appearance is
very peculiar, resembling a Calamites, with the marks of rootlets, and
so evidently a Stigmaria.
Habitat: Found at the Gate Vein, Pottsville.
Stigmaria radicans, Lesq., Plate II, No. 2.
Stem about two inches
broad, narrowly striate in its length; scars irregular, and irregularly
placed; rootlets apparently round and attenuated at the base. Scarcely a true Stigmaria, looking much more
like a root.
Salem Vein, Pottsville.
Stigmaria minuta, Lesq., Plate XVI, figs. 1, 2.
Stem thick; lower
scars very small, and near each other, placed in a spiral line, round;
the superior ones more distant, oval, pointed, or open in their inferior
part; central scars elongated, like a deep narrow line dividing the
Both specimens figured here belong to the same species. We have followed the
transitions between both forms—the first evidently a Stigmaria, the
second one belonging to a Sigillaria, or perhaps to a Lepidodendron.
Habitat: Found in the Vespertine below Pottsville.
V. SIGILLARIA, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 422.
tree-like, ordinarily marked with parallel or reticulated ribs; scars
of the leaves placed spirally in the middle of those ribs; scars
disciform, oblong, round, scarcely lanceolate crosswise, with the sides
mostly angular, marked in the middle by the vascular scars, ordinarily
placed by three or by two, but seldom single.
M. Brongniart, taking into
consideration the internal structure of the plants of this class, has
admitted them as probably belonging to the phanerogamous dicotyledonous
plants, and so has removed them far from the Lepidodendra. We cannot
admit this opinion. The leaves of the Sigillaria, their position on the
stem, and the scars left by them, have so great an affmity with those of
the Lepidodendron that we cannot but conclude that these classes of
plants are closely related to each other. We have no plants now living
which can be compared with the Sigillaria:—the nearest ones are the
Lycopodiaceae—and so we think that their true place, far removed from
the dicotyledonous plants, is between the Lycopodiaceae and the ferns,
differing from the former in the manner in which the leaves are attached
to the stem, and from the ferns especially by the form of their long,
linear, grass-like leaves. Like the Lepidodendra, these Sigillaria bore
their leaves on their young shoots, or on the summits of their
branches, and the leaves falling, easily left small scars, which were
enlarged as the trees were growing up. We have never seen as large
trunks of Sigillariae; as those of Lepidodendra; nevertheless, there
are many standing around Carbondale, and visible in the bed of the
river, of which the diameter is from 8 inches to 1 foot.
Sigillaria lepidodendrifolia, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p.
426, t. 161.
Stem without ribs, undulate, transversely wrinkled below
the scars, the wrinkles parallel to the base of the scars; scars nearly
rhomboidal; lateral angles acute, the inferior and the superior
rounded; vascular scars, three well marked, the medial one punctiform,
the lateral ones linear, arched; leaves long, keeled, three-nerved,
enlarged at the base.
The scars, though
nearly obliterated, are visible enough to indicate that our species is
the same as M. Brongniart's. It has also the leaves attached to it.
Habitat: Seen at the Lehigh Summit.
Sigillaria sculpta, Lesq., Plate XIII, fig. 3.
Stem irregularly and
narrowly striate in its length, without ribs; wrinkles undulate; scars
elevated, smooth, quadrangular, rhomboidal oblique, emarginate cordate
above, with the other angles acute; vascular scars three, the medial
one oval, placed crosswise, the lateral ones linear, arched.
species, somewhat resembling the following, but differing by the
elevated scars, emarginated above, and pointed below. In its corticated
state the scars are square and ribbed, as figured in .
Habitat: The Gate Vein,
Sigillaria obliqua, Brongt.
Surface of the stem undulate, striate, or
scarcely ribbed, the ribs indicated by undulate lines; scars oblique,
half round at the base, angular, trapeziform above; vascular scars
Habitat: We have found it at the same vein as the former, but very
Sigillaria fissa, Lesq., Plate XIII, fig. 4.
marked in its length by narrow, undulate, smooth lines; scars distant,
elevated, cordate, obtuse in outline, deeply emarginate above, round,
obtuse below, with two acute angles at both sides, and a single oval
vascular scar, attached in the middle of a semilunar or arched ring.
Habitat: Found at Muddy Creek.
Sigillaria dilatata, Lesq., Plate XIII, fig. 5.
Surface marked with
thin, undulate, and smooth, very narrow lines; scars near each other,
plane, enlarged on the sides, and nearly twice as broad as high;
emarginate cordate above, very obtuse below, lateral angles very acute;
vascular scars three, the medial one broadly oval crosswise, the
lateral ones, linear, arched. In its corticated state it is narrowly
undulated on the whole surface, with the lines only diverging above the
vascular scars, which are oval, the two exterior lengthwise, the central
Habitat: Preserved in the collection of Carbondale.
Sigillaria Schimperi, Lesq., Plate XIV, fig. 1.
narrowly plaited, and striate crosswise; scars slightly undulated,
striate in the same direction, nearly round in outline; the upper
marginal line well marked, and extending horizontally on both sides, the
inferior one slightly marked, rounded; vascular scars two, oval,
placed below an arched linear depression.
A beautiful and
remarkable species, dedicated to our friend Professor W. P. Schimper,
the eminent European Bryologist, and author of the Fossil Flora of the
Red Sandstone of the Vosges.
Habitat: Muddy Creek.
Sigillaria stellata, Lesq., Plate XIV, fig. 2.
Surface deeply marked
with undulated branching lines or wrinkles, diverging in every
direction from the scars and around them; scars nearly plane,
hexagonal, the upper side obtusely emarginate, the under side obtuse,
the others straight, equal; vascular scars three, the medial one
semilunar, the lateral ones placed a little higher, oval, pointed
downwards, and diverging to the sides.
Habitat: Large specimens of this beautiful
species are preserved in the cabinet of Mr. Clarkson, at Carbondale.
Sigillaria Menardi, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 430, t. 158,
figs. 5, 6.
Stem mamillate, furrows distinct, reticulated, joined
crosswise; scars close, nearly as large as the mamillae, equal, nearly
round, slightly enlarged, and obtuse on the sides, emarginate above;
leaves very long, linear, keeled, many-nerved; nerves parallel, equal,
is evidently the same as the one described by M. Brongniart; it differs
only by the very narrow furrows between the scars; but this
is only accidental. We have seen also specimens with broader furrows.
Habitat: Muddy Creek and Gate Vein, New Philadelphia. Common in
the superior beds of the anthracite basins of Pennsylvania.
Sigillaria Brardii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. pp. 65, 431, t.
158, fig. 4.
Stem undulate, mamillate; mamillae nearly plane; furrows
obtuse, distinct, reticulated crosswise; surface corticated, smooth,
decorticated, striate in its length; scars nearly round, smaller than
the mamillae, with the angles acute on the sides, emarginate above;
vascular scars three, oblong, the medial one transversal.
Habitat: Gate Vein of
Sigillaria Defrancii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 432, t.
159, fig. 1.
Stems mamillate; mamillae transversely lanceolate;
furrows deep, acute, reticulate, distinct, smooth; scars discoid, with
the lateral angle acutely keeled; inferior margin slightly convex,
superior very arched and slightly emarginate; vascular scars three, the
medial one like a point, the lateral ones linear, arched.
Sigillaria Serlii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 433, t. 158,
Stem mamillate, with the niamillae elevated, nearly rhomboidal,
broader transversely; furrows deep and distinct; scars placed in the
upper part of the mamillae, transversely lanceolate, with the lateral
angles very acute, decurrent in the mamillae; vascular scars three
points. The specimen is not very
Habitat: Seen in the Trevorton low coal.
Sigillaria tessellata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 436, t.
157, fig. 1, t. 162, figs. 1-4.
Surface marked with longitudinal
undulated narrow ribs; scars discoid, as broad as the ribs, about
square; hexagonal, with the sides obtuse, and slightly emarginate
above; specimen indistinct.
Habitat: Trevorton coal; it has been sent to M.
Brongniart from Wilkesbarre.
Sigillaria elegans, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 438, t.
146, fig. 1; t. 155 and 158, fig. 1.
Surface ribbed; ribs and furrows
deeply marked, alternately enlarged and narrowed, and so undulated;
ribs slightly mamillate; mamillae nearly hexagonal, convex, laterally
broader; scars discoid, near each other, and nearly as large as the
mamillae; vascular scars three, the lateral ones arched, the central
Habitat: Lehigh Summit, and also New Philadelphia.
Sigillaria Brochantii, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 442, t.
159, fig. 2.
Stems marked with deep undulated furrows, slightly
mamillate, smooth; scars oblique, rhomboidal, transversely lanceolate,
with the lateral angle very acute; superior and inferior ones arched,
obtuse; vascular scar, a single central point; a broken but distinct specimen.
Habitat: Found at Lehigh Summit.
Sigillaria alveolaris, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 443, t.
162, fig. 5.
Stem ribbed; ribs equal, narrow; scars discoid, nearly
contiguous, oval, without angles; vascular scars, three points placed
in the upper part of the disc.
Sigillaria scutellata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 455, t.
150, fig. 23, t. 163, fig. 3.
Stems ribbed; ribs convex, equal, or
alternately contracted arid enlarged at the scars; furrows deep,
straight, or sinuous, distinct; scars discoid, round, oval, about as
large as the ribs; longer than broad, slightly angular on the sides,
and round, keeled at the base; vascular scars three, punctiform; a poor specimen.
at Muddy Creek.
Sigillaria Sillimanni, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 460, t.
147, fig. 1.
Stem ribbed; ribs alternately and slightly contracted and
enlarged; transversely wrinkled above the scars, and obliquely below;
scars discoid, twice as far from each other as their length, a little
narrower than the ribs, oval, oblong, rounded on each side; vascular
scars three—the medial one punctiform, the lateral ones linear, arched.
species described by M. Brongniart; we have not seen any specimens of it.
Habitat: Specimens sent from Wilkesbarre to M. Brongniart.
Sigillaria oculata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 461.
ribbed; ribs narrow, with straight distinct furrows; bark smooth;
scars discoid, oval-rounded, emarginate above, more distant from each
other than the diameter of the ribs; vascular scars, three—the medial
one punctiform, the lateral ones oblong, arched.
Habitat: Found at Trevorton in
its decorticated state, as figured by Sternberg (Vers. 1-3, p. 40, t.
31, fig. 1), and described under the name of Syrigodendron complanatum.
Sigillaria polita, Lesq., Plate XIV, fig. 3.
Stem ribbed; ribs
nearly plane, very smooth, as broad as the distance between the scars;
separated by narrow, deep, and very straight furrows; scars discoid,
enlarged both sides, round above, the lower margin convex, with two
lateral angles very obtuse; vascular scars three—the medial one
transverse, linear, straight in the middle, and convex at both ends;
the lateral ones linear, arched.
This fine species has
some affinity with both Sigillaria Saullii, Brongt., and Sigillaria
hyppocrepis, Brongt., different from the first by its straight and
larger ribs—from the second by the round base of the scars and the
Sigillaria dubia, Lesq.
Stems ribbed; ribs well marked, narrow,
half an inch broad, with the furrows obtuse, deeply marked; very
narrowly striate or wrinkled in its length; scars about twice as
distant from each other as they are long; obovate, with the lateral
angles scarcely marked; vascular scars three, placed above—the medial
one semilunar, with the horns turned upwards, and nearly converging; the
lateral ones linear, straight, parallel; bark thick, striate.
It is very near Sigillaria Cortes, Brongt. (Hist.
des Veg. Foss., i. p. 167, t. 147, figs. 3, 4); differing only in the
greater distance of the scars, being broader at the base, and by the
wrinkles more deeply marked on the ribs. Perhaps a variety.
Habitat: Trevorton low coal.
Sigillaria obovata, Lesq., Plate XIV, fig. 4.
Stem ribbed; ribs
broad, a little more than one inch, nearly flat and smooth, or
obsoletely striate; furrows deep and narrow; scars a little less
distant from each other than the breadth of the ribs; obovate; inferior
margin very obtuse; vascular scars three —the medial one linear, short; the lateral ones linear, slightly arched.
species is related to the former by the obovate form of the scars,
evidently differing by its broad, flat, smooth ribs, and the form of the
vascular scars. The bark is striated lengthwise, as in the former; but
the scars on the bark are semilunar in this species, and squarish-oval
in the former.
Habitat: Trevorton Coal, low beds.
Sigillaria reniformis, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 470, t.
Ribs very broad, flattened, scarcely striate in their length;
scars reniform, rounded, a little broader than long, emarginate above;
furrows faintly marked; bark thick; vascular scars of the decorticated
stem geminate, oval, oblong.
Habitat: The Gate Vein at Pottsville and New
Philadelphia; common in the superior beds of the anthracite basins, but
always found in its decorticated state.
Sigillaria laevigata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 471, t.
Stem ribbed; ribs very broad, flattened, with deep acute furrows;
bark thick, thinly striated, or wrinkled in its length; scars discoid,
hexagonal, rounded, with the lateral angles obtuse; vascular scars
three—the medial one very small, the lateral ones oval-lanceolate,
larger. In the decorticated state, the vascular scars are geminate,
contiguous, very large.
Habitat: New Philadelphia, Gate Vein; found only
Sigillaria elongata, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 473, t.
145 and 146, fig. 2.
Stem ribbed; ribs straight, equal, with deep
angular furrows; scars discoid, oblong, lanceolate; truncate at the
base and at the summit, or slightly emarginate above; vascular scars
three, placed above—the medial one very small, the lateral ones oblong;
bark thick; decorticated stem deeply striate; scars oblong.
Summit; a specimen scarcely distinct.
|Sigillaria rugosa, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 476, t. 144,
Stem ribbed; ribs plane, equal; furrows straight, narrow,
distinct; ribs marked, with very slender points in the middle, between
the scars; scars discoid, oval, distant twice their length; vascular
scars three, placed above—the medial one like a point, the lateral ones
Habitat: Sent to M. Brongniart from Wilkesbarre; known to us
only by his description.
Sigillaria alternans, Lind. & Hutt., Foss. Fl., p. 159, t.
Stem ribbed; ribs broad, equal; scars two, approximate, elliptical,
with a small vascular scar in the middle.
Habitat: Pittsburgh Seam at Greensburg.
|Sigillaria catenulata, Lind. & Hutt., Foss. Fl., p. 159, t.
Stem ribbed; ribs broad; scars elliptical, long, or lanceolate,
acute at both ends, joined together by a continuous line without any
vascular scar, except a point in the middle.
two last species are evidently the decorticated state of species either
already published with other names, or unknown in their perfect form.
Habitat: Trevorton Low Coal.
|Sigillaria discoidea, Lesq., Plate XIV, fig. 5.
furrows distant, irregular, deeply marked and wrinkled; distance
between them large—two or three inches; flattened; irregularly dotted;
scars discoid or round, elevated, half globular, diminishing in size,
slightly emarginate below, very near each other, marked in the middle
with a deep irregular point.
We have given a true copy of this vegetable
relic. Its place in
the family of the Sigillariae is scarcely acceptable. But as we could
not obtain any good specimens for further examination, we have nothing
else to say about its other characters; we mention it here till some
better opportunity to study it is afforded.
Habitat: We have it from a sandstone rock at Lehigh Summit.
VI. SYRIGODENDRON, Sternb. & Brongt.
Stems furrowed, ribs equal,
parallel, covered with a bark ordinarily transformed into coal, bearing,
on the exterior surface of the ribs, small scars which are not discoid,
and have no impressions of vascular scars.
Syrigodendron pachyderma, Brongt., Hist. des Veg. Foss., i. p. 479,
t. 166, fig. 1.
Bark thick; ribs and furrows obtuse, distinct, striate
on their external surface; wrinkles (striae) arched, and converging to
the scars, which are small, nearly square, bitoothed above; in the
decorticated state the scars are linear and simple.
Habitat: Common at Trevorton
Syrigodendron cyclostegium, Brongt., Hist. des Veg . Foss., i. pp.
480 and 166, figs. 2, 3.
Bark thin; ribs convex, with broad, obtuse,
distinct furrows; striate; scars marked on an elevation of the ribs;
nearly round, forming a small depressed circle. Same locality as the
Habitat: A large perpendicular wall of roof-slate at Trevorton is covered
with the stems or bark of these Syrigodendron. (See Sketch.)
VII. LEPIDODENDRON, Sternb.
Stems large, tree-like, sometimes as long as
one hundred feet or longer; dichotomous, bearing leaves on the young
branches or shoots; branches ordinarily fastigiate. Leaves linear,
sometimes linear-lanceolate; bark covered with the scars left by the
falling of the leaves at their point of attachment; oval-lanceolate or
acute at both ends, marked on the middle or above it by a triangular or
rhomboidal vascular impression, ordinarily transversely three-pointed;
below the inferior angle of the vascular scar there are ordinarily two
oval slightly diverging impressions which we name tubercles, and a
medial line from the base of the vascular scar to the tail of the
general scar; this line sometimes follows the direction of the scars,
descending from one to the other, and nearly dividing them into two
longitudinal parts. In this case it is ordinarily stopped above the
vascular scar by a diverging furrow, forming a lid or a crown, either
triangular or trapezoidal, above the vascular scars. We name the
distance between the scars a margin; it is ordinarily a good character.
It is truly astonishing to see how well these impressions of the scars
of the Lepidodendron have been preserved. We have seen many specimens at
Mr. Clarkson's, and one also at Mr. Moore's, of which the impressions
were as distinct as if they had been carved in the stone by the best
engraver. We have had good opportunity for studying the remarkable
fossil-remains of this family in the cabinet of Mr. Clarkson at
Carbondale, where, during more than fifteen years, that gentleman has
collected the largest and most beautiful specimens. The roof of the vein
of coal worked at Carbondale, under the direction of Mr. Clarkson, is almost
entirely covered with impressions of trunks of Lepidodendra, sometimes
of an immense size. There are some of them seventy feet long and about
two feet broad, which are not at all narrowed at the upper end, where
they are broken, and which consequently must have been much longer than
the preserved part. The affinity of these trees with the Lycopodiaceae
of our time has been fully established by Mr. Hooker from his
observations on the internal structure of the fruits, the Lepidostrobi. But we know nothing about the mode of growth of these enormous
vegetables, nor how they were sustained on the soft ground where they
were living. We cannot assert anything satisfactory in this matter; but
we think that for this genus, as for the Sigillariae, the roots were
nothing but the long creeping Stigmariae, making by their ramification a
true network to support the tree, and drawing, by their long and
innumerable rootlets, the vegetable sap in sufficient abundance to
promote the rapid growth of those trees bearing only small leaves at the
upper part of their branches. We find in many Lycopodiaceae the same
disposition of roots and branches.
Lepidodendron aculeatum, Sternb., Vers., p. 10, and 2 3, t. 6, fig.
2, and t. 8, fig. 1.
General scars oboval, elliptical, narrowed and
acute at both ends; tail pointed and curved below; vascular scars
obtuse, regularly rhomboidal; medial line deeply transversely
short-wrinkled; tubercles oval.
Habitat: A variable species commonly found in the
low beds of the coal-basins. Minersville, Lehigh Summit, Carbondale,
Lepidodendron rugosum, Sternb., p. 178, t. 68, fig. 4.
narrowed, acuminate at both ends; vascular scars trapezoidal,
transversely marked with three points united by an elevated line;
tubercles two, one of them sometimes obliterated; medial line furrowed
broadly, transversely wrinkled.
Habitat: Carbondale and Zanesville, Ohio.
Lepidodendron crenatum, Sternb., Vers., i. p. 10, figs. 20, 23, t. 8,
Scars elliptical, narrowly pointed at both ends, slightly
curved below; vascular scars large, acute, rhomboidal, three-pointed;
medial line transversely wrinkled in its inferior part only; transverse
points, and turbercles obsolete. In our specimens
the vascular impression is acute at both sides.
Habitat: Found at Carbondale.
Lepidodendron obovatum, Sternb., Vers., i. p. 10, t. 6, fig. i. t. 8,
General scars obovate, pointed above, narrowed and acuminate
below, vascular scars rhomboidal obtuse, with three somewhat obliterated
Habitat: Common in the low beds of the coal-basins.
Lepidodendron modulatum, Lesq., Plate XV, fig. 1.
narrowed acuminate at both ends, curved at the base, separated by a
broad, half round, elevated, and deeply-wrinkled margin; wrinkles
undulated, and parallel to the scars; vascular scars rhomboidal, obtuse
arched above, narrowed at the base in a long point, acute at both
sides, marked with three transverse points united by a depressed line;
tubercles narrow; medial line deeply marked and transversely furrowed
by deep short wrinkles; appendage double.
Habitat: A beautiful species preserved
at Carbondale somewhat resembling Lepidodendron rugosum.
Lepidodendron giganteum, Lesq., Plate XV, fig. 2.
oval, trapezoidal, elongated, acute both ends; vascular scars nearly in
the middle; rhomboidal, quadrangular, with three points in the middle;
appendages irregular, longer on one side; tubercles very small, short,
oval; medial line marked from the summit to the lower end of the scars;
species may be the same as the Lepidodendron undulatum, Sternb., this
being in a decorticated state.
Habitat: Common at Carbondale, and found also at Lehigh Summit.
Lepidodendron vestitum, Lesq., Plate XVI, fig. 3.
oval, trapezoidal, acute at both ends, separated by an irregular smooth
margin, covering the borders of the scars; vascular scars quadrangular,
trapezoidal, placed at the summit of the general scars, with three
points in the middle; no appendages; tubercles large, oval; medial
line deep, smooth, curved.
A peculiar and well-characterised species. The margins of the scars are sometimes very broad,
covering the borders of the scars, but detached from them like a frame,
and easily broken and falling off.
Habitat: Found at Wilkesbarre.
Lepidodendron conicum, Lesq., Plate XV, fig. 3.
General scars oval,
acute, and narrowed at both ends; vascular scars triangular, conical,
with a single oval point in the middle, and two broad oval tubercles
below; appendages none; medial line marked only by a row of long,
undulate, transverse wrinkles; margins flat, broad, deeply wrinkled;
wrinkles parallel to the scars, or marked in the same direction.
Though well marked and
distinct, it may be a decorticated impression.
Habitat: Carbondale, where we have found many specimens.
Lepidodendron oculatum, Lesq., Plate XVI, fig. 4.
acuminate at both ends; vascular scars marked only in the superior
outline by a linear line, curved like a bow, and transversed by another
narrow perpendicular line, at the base of which there are marked two
large oval tubercles; medial line deeply wrinkled, obsolete; margin of
the scars very broad (half an inch), flat, undulately wrinkled or
striate. A beautiful species, perhaps the same as the following in its
Habitat: Preserved at Carbondale.
Lepidodendron distans, Lesq., Plate XVI, fig. 5.
lengthened, acute, or acuminate at both ends; vascular scars
rhomboidal, square, transversely marked with three points; appendages
two on each side; tubercles small, diverging; medial line deep,
transversely cut by broad short wrinkles; margin between the scars very
broad, striate, or wrinkled in their length with undulate smooth lines,
flat; scars very smooth.
Habitat: Same place as the former.
Lepidodendron rimosum, Sternb., Vers., vol. i. pp. 11, 21, 23, t.
10, fig. 1.
Scars distant, elliptical, acute at both ends; margins
irregularly wrinkled in the length; vascular scars rhomboidal, concave,
without points; medial line obsolete. It is only a
decorticated state of another species.
Habitat: Found at Trevorton.
Lepidodendron obtusum, Lesq., Plate XVI, fig. 6.
acutely pointed above, slightly narrowed and abruptly obtuse below;
vascular scars nearly placed in the middle, rhomboidal-obtuse above,
acute below, angular on both sides, marked transversely with three
points; appendage irregular, distinct on one side only; tubercles
oval, diverging; medial line wrinkled; margins broad, undulately
striate, and furrowed in their length.
Habitat: Collection of Carbondale.
Lepidodendron carinatum, Lesq., Plate XV, fig. 4.
hexagonal, angular, acute at both ends, with narrow, deep, keeled,
smooth margins; vascular scars rhomboidal, obtuse above, triangular
below; appendages short, obsolete; tubercles small, oval; medial line
obsolete, transversely wrinkled.
Habitat: Found at Carbondale.
Lepidodendron clypeatum, Lesq., Plate XV, fig. 5, and Plate XVI, fig.
Scars irregularly trapezoidal, acute at both ends, obtuse on the
sides, with narrow linear margins; vascular scars large, obtuse on the
inferior and the superior borders, enlarged and acute on both sides,
transversely three-pointed; appendages obsolete, descending to the very
obsolete medial line, where they unite in an acute angle; tubercles
obsolete on one side, well marked on the other; oval. Plate XVI, fig. 7, represents the decorticated state of
Habitat: Common at
Lepidodendron sigillarioides, Lesq., Plate XV, fig. 6.
exactly trapezoidal, with the acute angles at both ends; margins
narrow, smooth; vascular scars dilated, acute at both ends, marked with
three points; without any appendages, neither medial lines nor
Habitat: Lehigh Summit.
Lepidodendron Mieleckii, Gopp., Syst. Fil. Foss., p. 465, t. 44,
figs. 1, 2.
Scars regularly rhomboidal, acute at both ends; vascular
scars plain, with five nearly equal angles, the two inferior rounded.
Perhaps a decorticated state of another already-described
species. At different places in the coal-basin of Pennsylvania, as at
Minersville, Trevorton, Carbondale, and Johnstown, and always in the
lowest vein, we have found also small branches of Lepidodendron,
sometimes with the leaves, which we could easily relate to Lepidodendron
Sternbergii, Brongt., Lepidodendron acerosum, Lind., Lepidodendron dilatatum, Lind., Lepidodendron
selayinoides, Lepidodendron elegans, Brongt. But as the only reliable character for
the distinction of these plants is the form of the scars, and their
relative position, it is useless to describe such small branches or
species of which the impressions are not distinct.
Habitat: Lehigh Summit.
VIII. ULODENDRON, Rhodes.
Stems simple (?), tree-like, covered with
rhomboidal scars of the leaves; branches distechous, strobilaceous,
covered with densely-imbricated leaves.
Ulodendron majus, Lind. and Hutt., Foss. Flor., vol. i. p. 22, t.
Scars of the branches distant, orbicular, eccentrically bossed;
scars of the leaves transversely half rhomboidal, rounded on the
inferior margin, superior angle acute, the lateral ones acuminate.
single specimen of this species which we have seen belongs to the Rev.
Mr. Brown of Charlestown, Kenawha, and was found in the lowest vein of
Ulodendron Lindleyanum, Sternb., Vers., p. 185, t. 45, fig. 4.
of the branches very large and distant, oval, and eccentrically bossed;
scars of the leaves marked only by obsolete points, placed in spiral.
The scars of the branches are about 5 inches
long, and 3 inches broad. The eccentric lump, which is irregularly oval,
and placed in the upper part of the scar, is surrounded by undulated
radiating lines, terminating at the margin of the general scars.
Habitat: In the collection of Mr. Clarkson at Carbondale there are two beautiful
specimens of this species.
I. LEPIDOPHYLLUM, Brongt.
Leaflets sessile, simple, entire, lanceolate
or linear, one to three nerved. This description of M. Brongniart,
copied by M. Unger in his Gen. et Spec. Plantarum, mentions only the
blade of the fruit of a Lepidodendron. These fruits are attached
together in catkins (lepidostrobus), formed of a scale, attached at a
right angle to the axis by a short pedicle, inflated at the top, and
supporting a spore-case (sporange) full of spores, and elongated above
in a leaflet, the lanceolate or linear blade. These fruits or sporanges
are imbricated around the axis; their position is well indicated by the
cross section of a catkin in Plate XVII, fig. 1. We do not think the
leaves of Lepidodendron worth mentioning and describing, these being
much alike in all the species which we have been able to examine.
Lepidophyllum acuminatum, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 2.
Blade nearly 1
inch broad, slightly narrowed near the base, 3 inches long, acuminate,
This species resembles
Lepidophyllum trinerve, Lind. and Hutt., Foss. Flor., vol. ii. p. 195,
t. 152, but differs from it by its two nerves.
Habitat: Johnstown, lowest bed of the coal.
Lepidophyllum obtusum, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 3.
three-fourths of an inch broad, more than 4 inches long, linear,
abruptly terminated in a short point, marked in the middle by a broad,
obsolete, inflated nerve.
We have seen many
broken specimens of this species, which would lead us to suppose that it
was about twice as long as here figured.
Habitat: Same place as the former.
Lepidophyllum lanceolatum, Brongt., Lind., and Hutt., Foss. Flor.,
vol. i. t. 7, figs. 3, 4.
Sporange inflated, irregularly five-angular,
narrowed and obtuse at the base, enlarged above; blade lanceolate,
pointed, entire, one-nerved.
Our species is probably the same as that
figured by Messrs Lindley and Hutton; but we have seen better
Habitat: The beautiful one figured, Plate XVII, fig. 1, belongs to Mr.
Chambers at Carbondale.
Lepidophyllum affine, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 5.
Differs from the
former by its obtuse blade and its long pointed sporange.
Philadelphia; very scarce.
|Lepidophyllum hastatum, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 7.
long-pointed, blade enlarged at the base in two diverging auricles;
hastate slightly acute, with a strong nerve; sporange lanceolate,
Habitat: Found by the Rev. Mr. Moore near Greensburg.
Lepidophyllum brevifolium, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 6.
narrowed at the base in a long point; blade very short, enlarged at the
slightly-obtuse sides. In this species
the angles of the blade are not diverging at the base, and the blade is
much shorter than in the former species.
Habitat: Common at Wilkesbarre Low Coal. We found it also abundantly in
the lowest bed of coal at Johnstown and Wilkesbarre.
Lepidophyllum plicatum, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 4.
lanceolate, obtuse, narrowed at the base, curved (geniculated) in the
middle; nerved from the base to half its length, the nerve
We have not seen the sporange of this species.
have a single specimen from the Gate Vein, Pottsville.
Lepidophyllum lineari, Brongt.,
This specimen is a leaf of Lepidodendron; linear,
carinate, nerved with parallel nerves.
Habitat: We mention it only for its
abundance at Wilkesbarre and Johnstown, in connection with Lepidophyllum
II. LEPIDOSTROBUS, Brongt.
Catkins cylindrical, composed of winged
sporanges, attached to a common axis, and imbricated.
It is impossible
to give a satisfactory description of these Lepidostrobi, when they are
found in their perfect or normal state, and when the form of the
imbricated sporanges, and of the blade or wing, cannot be exactly
ascertained. In the two places above mentioned, we have seen the three following
forms described by Messrs Brongniart and Lindley; but certainly the
separate sporanges of them, found together, and described above, were
part of some of them.
Habitat: At the low beds of
coal at Wilkesbarre and at Johnstown.
Lepidostrobus ornatus, Lind. and Hutt., Foss. Flor., vol. i. p. 163,
Catkins cylindrical, about 1 inch broad, with a thick woody axis.
Lepidostrobus variabilis, Lind. and Hutt., Foss. Flor., vol. i. t.
Catkins cylindrical or ova-lobtuse; scales acute, densely
Lepidostrobus pinaster, Lind. and Hutt., Foss. Flor., vol. iii. t.
Catkins small, cylindrical, 2 inches long, scales rhomboidal.
III. BRACHYPHYLLUM, Brongt. (?)
Stem dichotomous; leaves imbricated,
conical, obtuse, appressed, placed spirally around the stem.
Brachyphyllum obtusum, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 8.
We have classed
under this name, and till it is better known, this remarkable branch,
which ought to belong to this genus. The leaves or scales, which appear
to be narrowed below, like the sporanges of the Lepidophylla, are
rounded above, marked in the middle by an elevated line like a nerve. If
this plant is a true Brachyphyllum, we cannot conceive why it has been
generally taken for the branches of some coniferous tree. It looks much
more like an elongated and narrow catkin of a Lepidodendron, viz. a
Lepidostrobus, or is perhaps only a branch of some Lepidodendron.
Before leaving this remarkable class of plants—viz. the stems found in
the coal-formation—we shall remark that we have never been able to find
in this formation any specimens which would lead us to suppose that they
were the fossil remains of dicotyledonous or phanerogamous plants. We
have seen at Mr. Lawton's of Barlow, near Marietta, Ohio, some specimens
of petrified wood with concentric circles, which ought certainly to
belong to some coniferous tree. But the geological age of the formation
where this fossil wood occurs is far from being exactly ascertained. It
is a coarse loose sandstone which reposes in the coal sandstone, but the
direction of its beds is not in accordance with the direction of the
sandstone below it. This at least is what has been affirmed by Mr.
Lawton. The bivalve shells found in this formation are also far
different from the shells of the coal.
Nevertheless, the presence of
this formation, placed immediately above the coal sandstone, containing
fossil trees of a description entirely different from those of the coal,
is a remarkable coincidence. Though this formation is of small extent,
and may be a comparatively new fresh-water formation, it merits a closer
examination and attention from the geologists of Ohio. Its extent is
about three miles long and one or two miles broad.
specimens of this plant were found at the South Salem Vein, Pottsville.
IV. CARDIOCARPON, Brongt.
Capsules lenticular, compressed, obcordate or
These fruits and those of the following genus have
been differently classed. As they have never been found attached to the
branches, all that has been asserted about them, except their form, is
hypothetical. We would not dare to express any opinion, and as we have
had scarcely an opportunity to examine their internal structure.
Habitat: These fruits
are very scarce in the anthracite basins of Pennsylvania.
Cardiocarpon Trevortoni, Lesq.
Capsule plane, nearly orbicular,
emarginate, cordiform above, pointed at the base, marked in the middle
by a sharp elevated line, very smooth.
It resembles Cardiocarpon emarginatum,
Gopp. and Berg., De Fruit, p. 24, t. 3, fig. 35; but it is pointed at
the base. Differs also from Cardiocarpon latum (Newberry, Annals of
Science, p. 153) by its elevated medial line.
Habitat: Trevorton upper bed of coal,
mixed with Dictyopteris obliqua.
Cardiocarpon plicatum, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 9.
Differs from the
former by its undulate plaited surface, without medial line.
Habitat: Found at
the same locality.
|Cardiocarpon punctatum (?), Gopp. and Berg.,
De Fruit, p. 24, t. 2,
Capsule plane, reniform or round, emarginate, marked with
points regularly placed by five.
Our specimen differs
from this species by the surface being slightly concave, and the points
Habitat: Muddy Creek.
V. TRIGONOCARPUM, Brongt.
Fruit ovoid, three or six ribbed; ribs
thickened at the base, three of them broader, with a broad hexagonal
Habitat: We have scarcely found any good specimens of these fruits
in the coal-basins of Pennsylvania, where all the fossil remains are
ordinarily flattened in the shales; but they appear to be common in the
coal sandstone of Ohio, and there are a great many of them preserved in
the cabinets of Professor Newberry and of Dr. Hildreth at Marietta.
can only indicate with certainty the following ones:
Trignocarpum Schulzianum, Gopp. and Berg., De Fruit, t. 2, figs. 22,
Fruit oblong, triangular, with the angles five-ribbed.
Habitat: Trevorton Low
Trigonocarpum Hildreti, Lesq.
Fruit oval-oblong, narrowly
three-ribbed, with the intervals finely striate.
Habitat: From Ohio; preserved
in the collection of Dr. Hildreth.
Trigonocarpum oblongum, Lind. and Hutt., Fos. Flor., t. 193.
oval, pointed, slightly compressed, more than one inch long, and three
quarters of an inch broad; marked with three large ribs; intervals
Habitat: A broken specimen from Trevorton.
VI. RHABDOCARPOS, Gopp. and Berg.
Fruit oval or elliptical-oblong, marked in its length with parallel nerves or narrow ribs.
Rhabdocarpos amigdalaeformis, Gopp. and Berg., De Fruit et Sem., p.
21, t. 1, fig. 12.
Fruit oval, marked in the middle by a longitudinal
Habitat: Trevorton Low Coal.
Rhabdocarpos venosus, Lesq.;
Carpolites venosus, Sternb., Vers., ii.
p. 208, t. 58, figs. 16, 17.
Fruit oval, marked lengthwise by small
This species agrees well
with the figure of Sternberg, but it is a true Rhabdocarpos.
Habitat: The Gate Vein, Pottsville.
VII. CARPOLITHES, Sternb.
This genus contains the fruits, very variable in form, of which the affinity is doubtful.
Carpolithes fraxiniformis, Gopp. and Berg., De Fruit et Sem., p. 26,
Plate III, figs. 33 and 34.
Fruit elliptical, linear, flattened,
obtuse, nearly smooth.
Habitat: We have found in the Vespertine, below
Pottsville, specimens of a fruit which resembles this one described by
M. Goppert. It is not possible to tell anything about it. It looks like a
flattened elongated sporange, full of small seeds.
Carpolithes bifidus, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 10.
pedicellate, oval-oblong, arched; split in two parts above, three-ribbed
near the base; pedicle (?) thick, ribbed.
Habitat: Gate Vein, New Philadelphia.
Carpolithes disjunctus, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 11.
lanceolate, slightly obtuse, divided into two parts, the superior one
convex, the inferior concave, diverging from the other.
This remarkable specimen looks as if the oval fruit had been
turned aside, or removed from its place (round the base as an axis), and
left its impression on it. It is quite smooth.
Habitat: Found also at
Carpolithes acuminatus, Sternb. (?), Vers., 4, t. 7, fig. 15.
small, about two lines long, one line broad, oval, lanceolate, convex,
acute at one end, obtuse at the other, entirely smooth.
We have found at
Shamokin the species described above, which resembles Sternberg's
figure. On the same slate with this fruit there are some other much
smaller, scarcely half a line broad, round, flat, or varying much in
size and in form. These fruits appear to have been externally of a hard
texture, like the fruits of some Graminem or Cyperacem.
Carpolithes platimarginatus, Lesq., Plate XVII, fig. 12.
acute, convex, smooth, broadly margined; margin flat, broader near the
point, disappearing below.
Habitat: Trevorton Low Coal.
Carpolithes bicuspidatus, Sternb., Vers., i. t. 7, fig. 8.
flattened, round, slightly pointed on one side, scarcely emarginate on
the other, with a point on the emargination. It looks like the fruit of a Calamite.
Habitat: Found at Muddy Creek, and
at the Gate Vein of Pottsville.
Carpolithes multistriatus, Sternb., Vers., ii. p. 208, t. 39, figs.
Fruit broadly oval, large, pointed on one side, flattened on the
other, marked in its length with equal ribs, separated by obtuse furrows; ribs about one line broad.
Habitat: Shamokin Vein, west of the village.
VIII. Carpolithes umbonatus, Sternb., i. tab. 9, fig. 2.
scarcely a fruit; it is very irregular in its outline, irregularly
bossed and ribbed, and does not look at all like an organic relic, but
more like a pebble of iron. It is commonly found in slates of the coal,
varying in diameter from half an inch to about half a foot. To the
description of the species mentioned above we will subjoin a short
enumeration of the genera and species which, in our opinion, shall be
eliminated, or of which the place will be changed. These are, Cordaites,
Poacites, Cyperites, and Pinnularia.
Leaves simple, sessile, placed spirally, half embracing the stems with very narrow parallel nerves.
Cordaites borassifolia, Ung.
Leaves simple, spathulate, entire, very
long, nerves thin, parallel, epidermis formed of striate parallel cells,
Their place and their nature is undetermined. M. Brongniart
has placed them near the Noeggerathia, supposing them to be some
dicotyledonous plant of the Gymnosperma.
Habitat: These are long leaves or stems, of which many
fragments were found in the upper beds of the anthracite coal, near
Leaves linear, long, with nerves equal and
We think that they are the
leaves of some Sigillaria.
Habitat: We have found many of these Poacites in the upper beds of the
coal, in the same locality as the former.
Cyperites, Lind. and Hutt., Hist. Foss. Flor., t. 43,
figs. 1, 2.
Leaves linear, with two primary nerves on both sides, and
secondary ones between them. They
are also certainly the leaves of some Sigillariae.
Habitat: These are also found in the
upper beds of the coal at Pottsville, at the Salem and Gate veins.
Pinnularia, Lind. and Hutt., Foss. Flor., ii. tab. 3.
remains are evidently roots. Though we think their description and
nomenclature useless when their connection with the plants to which they
belong is not ascertained, we have made a drawing of the most
interesting of them. Preserving the nomenclature of this genus, as
established by Messrs. Lindley and Hutton, we would name those figured,
|Pinnularia calamitarum, Lesq.,
|Plate I, fig. 9.
|Pinnularia pinnata, Lesq.,
|Plate XVII, fig. 18.
|Pinnularia fucoides, Lesq.,
|Plate XVII, fig. 19.
|Pinnularia horizontalis, Lesq.,
|Plate XVII, fig. 21.
|Pinnularia capillacea, Lind. and Hutt., l.c.,
|Plate XVII, fig. 22.
|Pinnularia confervoides, Lesq.,
|Plate XVII, fig. 20.
The only one of
which the name merits preservation, as its identity may be ascertained
everywhere, is this last one (No.6).
|Interlocutory by Henry Darwin Rogers
foregoing Essays by Mr. Lesquereux are the results of researches made
by him in the years 1852-1854, upon the fossil flora of Pennsylvania,
under my direction, at the expense of the Commonwealth. I have been
therefore much surprised and chagrined to find their publication
partially forestalled by the production of a portion of the same matter
in a Report on the Fossils of the Western Kentucky Coal-Field,
recently issued as a part of the Geological Survey of that State. In a
prefatory paragraph to that Report, Mr. Lesquereux remarks:
|"As for the right I may have to quote a few lines of a
Report delivered in 1854 to the Director of the Geological State Survey
of Pennsylvania, I do not think that it can be denied me. This Report,
elaborated with great care, and the arduous labour of two years, was to
appear in the Final Report of the Geological State Survey of
Pennsylvania, but it is a question if it will ever be published."
In answer to this feeble attempt at an apology for a breach of literary
obligation, I have merely to reply that the action of the Legislature to
proceed with the publication of my work was notorious, and that Mr.
Lesquereux never wrote to me to know if my well-known wish to print had
Since the rendering in of his Report to me on the Fossil Plants of
Pennsylvania in 1854, Mr. Lesquereux has read (February 1858) a catalogue
of nearly all the Coal Plants of North America, including the
Pennsylvanian ones, to the Pottsville Scientific Association, which that
body has published. Embracing, as this does, many species and
localities not mentioned in the foregoing Essay, the following synopsis
of it, omitting many descriptive details, will, I trust, be acceptable
to the palaeontological reader.
|CATALOGUE OF THE FOSSIL PLANTS WHICH HAVE BEEN NAMED OR DESCRIBED
FROM THE COAL-MEASURES OF NORTH AMERICA.
By LEO LESQUEREUX.
FILICES OR FERN LEAVES.
1. - NOEGGERATHIA, Rut.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Yale's Peabody Museum. - GL,III, ed.]
|NOEGGERATHIA obliqua, Gopp., old red sandstone (Ponent), Pottsville.|| 300
|NOEGGERATHIA obtusa, Lsqx., old red sandstone (Ponent), Lehigh, below Mauch Chunk.||301
|NOEGGERATHIA minor, Lsqx., same place.|| 302
|NOEGGERATHIA Bockschiana, Lsqx. (Cyclopteris Bockschiana, Gopp.), old red sandstone (Vespertine), opposite Mauch Chunk.|| 306
|NOEGGERATHIA Beinertiana ? Gopp., Cuyahoga falls (Newb'y).||...
|NOEGGERATHIA microphylla, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
All the true Noeggerathia that I have seen belong to the old red sandstone. NOEGGERATHIA Beinertiana ? Gopp., mentioned with doubt by Dr. Newberry, is rather a Cordaites, and I am still in doubt if NOEGGERATHIA microphylla truly belongs to this genus.
|2. - ODONTOPTERIS, Brgt.
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|ODONTOPTERIS squamosa, Lsqx., Shamokin, low coal.||*133, 80
|ODONTOPTERIS alata, Lsqx.||(xxi,
|ODONTOPTERIS Brardii, Brgt. This species is stated by M. Unger as
found at Mauch Chunk. It may be the true one; but I have some doubt
about it. It has, perhaps, been mistaken for the former, which it
resembles, differing evidently, nevertheless, by its more pointed
leaflets, and by the absence of leaflets to the main rachis.||(xxi,
2,) *132, 133, 138, 139,
142, 198, 199, 741
|ODONTOPTERIS crenulata, Brgt., Tremont, new vein.|| 137
|ODONTOPTERIS Schlotheimii, Brgt., same place.||(xx,
1-2,) *136, 125, 138,
139, 140, 147, 747,
|ODONTOPTERIS dubia, Lsqx. A small specimen, no locality mentioned.||...
|ODONTOPTERIS Neuropteroides, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls. |
8,) 127, 128, 739,
The species of this genus appear to belong mostly to the low coal.
|3. - DICTYOPTERIS, Gutb.
|[Link points to this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|DICTYOPTERIS obliqua, Bunb'y. Trevorton, Sharp Mountain vein, Pottsville, &c. Salineville, Ohio., Newb'y.|
4-6,) *146, 144
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|Cyclopteris flabellata, Brgt., Tremont new vein.||73
|Whittleseya elegans, Newb'y, Annals of Science of Cleveland, No. 10; found abundantly at Cuyahoga falls, Ohio - low coal.||(iv,
|[Links below mostly point to the
Publications of the Historical Society of Schuylkill County, in Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|NEPHROPTERIS fimbriata, Lsqx., Salem vein, Pottsville; Pomroy, Ohio.||...
|NEPHROPTERIS laciniata, Lsqx., Muddy Creek, Schuylkill Co.||...
|NEPHROPTERIS elegans, Lsqx., Shamokin.||...
|NEPHROPTERIS undans, Lsqx., Gate vein, Middleport.||...
|NEPHROPTERIS trichomanoides, Brgt., Gate and Salem v., Pottsville ; Pomroy, Ohio.||...
|NEPHROPTERIS hirsuta, Lsqx., common, especially in the upper coal.||...
|NEPHROPTERIS orbicularis, Brgt., Room-run mines, near Mauch Chunk.||...
|NEPHROPTERIS Germari, Gopp., Salem vein, Pottsville.||...
|6. - NEUROPTERIS, Brgt.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|NEUROPTERIS speciosa, Lsqx., Gate vein, Port Carbon.||83
|NEUROPTERIS hirsuta, Lsqx., through the whole extent of the Coal-measures, mostly in the upper coal.|| (viii,
1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12,) *88, 74, 76, 84, 90, 91, 93, 115, 122, 232, 733,
|NEUROPTERIS Clarksoni, Lsqx., Ferris vein, near Archibald and Eagle Hill, above Bellmont (grey-ash coal).||(ix,
1-6,) *94, 95, 76, 87, 90, 104, 112, 129, 738
|NEUROPTERIS fissa, Lsqx., Gate vein, Pottsville.||*122, 123
|NEUROPTERIS smilacifolia, Sternb., Shamokin.||123
|NEUROPTERIS plicata, Sternb., Salem vein, Pottsville.||(x,
1-4,) *96, 97, 108
|NEUROPTERIS flexuosa, Brgt. The most common of all, found through the whole extent of the Coal-measures.||75, 76, 96, 97, 100, 101, 102
|NEUROPTERIS Loschii, Brgt., Gate and Salem veins, Pottsville. It descends to the low coal, and is perhaps only a variety of the former.||(xi,
1-4,) *98, 76,
81, 90, 97, 101, 104, 106, 107, 108, 144, 735
|NEUROPTERIS rotundifolia, Brgt., Gate vein, &c., with both the former.||(xiii,
8,) *97, 104
|NEUROPTERIS tenuifolia, Brgt., Shamokin.||(xii,
1, 2-9,) *100, 101, 102, 82, 99, 104, 106, 145, 735
|NEUROPTERIS gigantea, Brgt., Zanesville, Ohio.|
|NEUROPTERIS Grangeri, Brgt., Gate vein, Port Carbon.||(xiii,
9, 9a,) *105, 106
|NEUROPTERIS Cistii, Brgt., same place.|| 105
|NEUROPTERIS delicatula, Lsqx., Sharp Mount vein, Pottsville.||...
|NEUROPTERIS Villersii, Brgt., Gate vein, Pottsville; Pomroy, Ohio.|
|NEUROPTERIS gibbosa, Lsqx., Salem vein, Pottsville.||(vi,
1-6,) *84, 75, 144
|NEUROPTERIS undans, Lsqx., Gate vein, Middleport.||74, 83, 84
|NEUROPTERIS crenulata, Brgt., Salem vein, Pottsville and Tamaqua.||(xvi,
9-11a,) *116, 117,
118, 120, 133
|NEUROPTERIS tenuinervis, Lsqx., Gate vein, Pottsville.||125
|NEUROPTERIS dentata, Lsqx., Salem vein, Pottsville.||(v,
7, 8,) *82, 126
|NEUROPTERIS Desorii, Lsqx., West Wood (upper coal).||(xiv,
1,) *112, 90, 114, 123, 735
|NEUROPTERIS heterophylla, Brgt., common. Upper Coal-measures.||89
|NEUROPTERIS minor, Lsqx., Tamaqua.||*123
|NEUROPTERIS rarinervis, Bunb'y, Room Run mines, near Mauch Chunk.||(xv,
2-5,) *109, 74, 78, 91, 104, 110, 111, 112, 113, 123, [460 ? ] , 522
|NEUROPTERIS Moorii, Lsqx., Greensburg coal, higher than the Pittsburgh bed.||162
|NEUROPTERIS adiantites, Lsqx., locality unknown.||163
|NEUROPTERIS lancifera, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|SPHENOPTERIS Davalliana, Gopp., ? lowest coal, Kenawha Salines, Va.||...
|SPHENOPTERIS tenella, Brgt., ? Gate vein, Port Carbon (a poor specimen).||*836
|SPHENOPTERIS Gravenhorstii, Brgt., Black Mine, Westwood.||(ci,
|SPHENOPTERIS Dubuissonis, Brgt., Gate vein, Port Carbon.||*275
|SPHENOPTERIS abbreviata, Lsqx., same place.||203
|SPHENOPTERIS intermedia, Lsqx., Black Mine, Westwood.||271
|SPHENOPTERIS flagellaris, Lsqx., Sharp Mt. vein, Pottsville.||267
|SPHENOPTERIS plicata, Lsqx., New Philadelphia (upper coal).||(cxi,
|SPHENOPTERIS latifolia, Brgt., low coal, Pennsylvania and Ohio.||211, 215, 220
|SPHENOPTERIS acuta, Brgt., low coal Kenawha, Salines (in the cabinet of Marietta College).||215
|SPHENOPTERIS obtusiloba, Brgt., Cuyahoga falls, Newb'y.||...
|SPHENOPTERIS glandulosa, Lsqx., Shamokin (low coal).||210
|SPHENOPTERIS decipiens, Lsqx., Salem vein, Young's Landing, Pottsville.||214
|SPHENOPTERIS polyphylla, Lind. & Hutt., low coal, Iowa and Kentucky (in D. D. Owen's cabinet).||218
|SPHENOPTERIS Newberryi, Lsqx., Wilkesbarre, low coal.||202
|SPHENOPTERIS Lesquereuxii, Newb'y (ined.) Cuyahoga falls.||208
|SPHENOPTERIS squamosa, Lsqx., probably low coal. Locality unknown.||207
|SPHENOPTERIS artemisaefolia, Brgt. Locality unknown.||293
|SPHENOPTERIS parvifolia, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|SPHENOPTERIS concinna, Newb'y (ined.), same place.||...
|SPHENOPTERIS uncinnate, Newb'y (ined.), same place.||...
|SPHENOPTERIS Kirtlandiana, Newb'y (ined.), Poland, Ohio.|
|SPHENOPTERIS simplex, Newb'y (ined.), Poland, Ohio.|
|SPHENOPTERIS subspinosa, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|SPHENOPTERIS tenuis, Newb'y (ined.), same place.||...
|SPHENOPTERIS foliosa, Newb'y (ined.), same place.||...
|SPHENOPTERIS coriacea, Newb'y (ined.), Salineville.||...
|2. - HYMENOPHYLLITES, Gopp.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|HYMENOPHYLLITES furcatus, Gopp. (Vespertine), Mauch Chunk and Pottsville. Lowest coal, Cuyahoga falls, Newb'y.||282, 283
|HYMENOPHYLLITES Hildreti, Lsqx., Great Kenawha, Salines, low coal.||...
|HYMENOPHYLLITES capillaris, Lsqx., same place.||...
|HYMENOPHYLLITES fimbriatus, Lsqx., Salem v., Pottsville; Pomroy, Ohio.|
|HYMENOPHYLLITES affinis, Lsqx., Gate vein, New Philadelphia.||...
|HYMENOPHYLLITES hirsutus, Lsqx., Gate vein, Westwood.||...
|HYMENOPHYLLITES laceratus, Lsqx., Johnstown, Penn., low coal.||...
|HYMENOPHYLLITES giganteus, Lsqx. (Shizopteris lactuca, Sternb. Gate vein, north of Port Carbon.||...
|1. - ASPLENITES,
Gopp. Fruit-dots linear, attached to the back of the secondary nerves;
secondary nerves simple or dichotomous; frond bitripinnate.
|[Link points within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|ASPLENITES rubra, Lsqx., barren measures, Marietta, Ohio.||...
|2. - ALETHOPTERIS,
Sternb. and Gopp. Frond bi-tripinnatifid; secondary nerve nearly
perpendicular to the medial nerve, either simple or forking.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|ALETHOPTERIS lonchitidis, Sternb. This species is truly
characteristic of the lowest coal, or that above the conglomerate, from
the Mississippi to the anthracite basins of Pennsylvania.|| 177
|ALETHOPTERIS Pennsylvanica, Lsqx., Salem vein, Pottsville.||*181, 834
|ALETHOPTERIS aquilina, Gopp. Locality uncertain.||*174, 183, 187, 195, *181, 182
|ALETHOPTERIS urophylla, Gopp., Gate vein, Pottsville.||...
|ALETHOPTERIS Serlii, Gopp., Room Run mines, near Mauch Chunk; Zanesville, Ohio; Kenawha, Salines, Va.||(xxix,
1-5,) *176, 158, 222
|ALETHOPTERIS marginata, Gopp., Tremont (new vein).||*186
|ALETHOPTERIS distans, Lsqx., Muddy Creek, Schuylkill County.||177, 178
|ALETHOPTERIS obscura, Lsqx., Gate vein, Pottsville.||170
|ALETHOPTERIS serrula, Lsqx., Gate vein, north of Port Carbon.||140, 256
|ALETHOPTERIS nervosa, Gopp., Shamokin, Carbondale. Cuyahoga falls, Newb'y.||199
|ALETHOPTERIS laevis, Lsqx., Shamokin.||187
|ALETHOPTERIS rugosa, Lsqx., Salem vein, Pottsville.||169, 170
|ALETHOPTERIS muricata, Sharp Mt. vein, Pottsville.||203
|ALETHOPTERIS grandifolia, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||*179
|ALETHOPTERIS gracilis, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|3. - CALLIPTERIS,
Brgt. Frond bipinnatifid; pinnae long, decurrent on the common rachis;
pinnules continuous, slightly oblique, united, and decurrent at the
base; medial nerve oblique, arched; secondary nerves oblique, arched,
|4. - PECOPTERIS, Brgt.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|PECOPTERIS Cistii, Brgt., Wilkesbarre (from M. Brongniart's indication).|| (xli,
4, 4a,) *243, 244, 245
|PECOPTERIS polymorpha, Brgt., common, upper coal.|| 247, 248, 244, 249
|PECOPTERIS distans, Lsqx., with the former.||*246
|PECOPTERIS velutina, Lsqx., Johnstown, Pa., low coal.||*250
|PECOPTERIS ovata, Brgt., Tremont (new vein).||...
|PECOPTERIS Sheaferi, Lsqx. It was found in McKean County.||...
|PECOPTERIS notata, Lsqx., Salem vein, Port Carbon, &c.||*262
|PECOPTERIS oreopteridis, Brgt., Gate and Salem veins, Pottsville.||(xli,
8, 8a,) *238, 245, 263
|PECOPTERIS pusilla, Lsqx., same place.||220
|PECOPTERIS arborescens, Brgt., common in the upper coal, Pa. and Ohio.||220, 99, 221, 231, 234, 235, 247, 255
|PECOPTERIS dubia, Lsqx., Gate vein, Pottsville.||...
|PECOPTERIS cyathaea , Brgt., Gate vein, Port Carbon.||231
|PECOPTERIS arguta, Brgt., upper Coal-measures. Pottsville and Pomroy, Ohio.|
2-3a,) *227, 232
|PECOPTERIS abbreviata, Brgt., Trevorton.||(xlvi,
4-6a,) **248, 761
|PECOPTERIS unita, Brgt., Sharp Mt. vein, Pottsville.||(xl,
1-7b,) *223, 225, 226, 229
|PECOPTERIS concinna, Lsqx., Gate vein, Pottsville.||*264, 209
|PECOPTERIS pennaeformis, Brgt., Trevorton (new vein).||(xlv,
1-2a,) *239, 240, 242
|PECOPTERIS plumosa, Brgt., Cuyahoga falls (Dr Newb'y).||240, 241, 758
|PECOPTERIS Sillimani, Brgt., Zanesville, Ohio, following M. Brongniart, to whom it was sent.||205; 206, 208
|PECOPTERIS Loschii, Brgt., Sam. Ferris vein, four miles W. of Archibald.||206
|PECOPTERIS incompleta, Lsqx., Gate vein, Pottsville.||*264
|PECOPTERIS elliptica, Bunb'y, Zanesville, Ohio (Dr Newb'y).||(xxxix,
4-6a,) *245, 246
|PECOPTERIS inflata, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls, low coal.||...
|PECOPTERIS pavifolia, Newb'y (ined.), same place.||...
|PECOPTERIS latirachis, Newb'y (ined.), same place.||...
This genus truly characterises, by most of its species, the upper
Coal-measures. I have never yet seen a true Pecopteris either in or
below the conglomerates.
|LEAVES OF DOUBTFUL AFFINITY.
|1. - CREMATOPTERIS,
W. P. Schp. Frond simple, pinnate; rachis broad; pinnules vertical or
oblique, oval-oblong, entire; nerve obsolete.
|2. - SCOLOPENDRITES,
Lsqx. Frond simple, linear-lanceolate, large, deeply, irregularly
toothed; medial nerve very slender; secondary nerves thin, pinnately
forking, very oblique, distant.
|3. - SCHIZOPTERIS,
Brgt. Frond irregular, pinnately lobate with the lobes elongated,
dentate, diversely cut; primary nerves none; secondary nerves parallel,
|SCHIZOPTERIS robusta, Newb'y, (ined.), Cuyahoga falls, Ohio.|
|4. - CANNOPHYLLITES, Brgt. Leaves simple, entire, with a strong central nerve; secondary nerve oblique, simple, parallel, equal.
|CANNOPHYLLITES cordata, Newb'y, (ined.), Cuyahoga falls, Ohio.|
|5. - CORDAITES, Ung.
Stems erect, annulate by the persistent base of the leaves. Leaves
simple, half embracing the stem, long, linear, one or two inches broad;
nerves thin, parallel.
|[Link points within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|CORDAITES borassifolia, Ung., abounds in the upper coal, Pa. & Ohio.|
3, 3b,) *532, 528, 530, 544
This family of plants is composed of herbaceous
plants or of trees, of which the stems are ordinarily striated
lengthwise, the branches and stems bearing whorls of leaves at the more
or less distant articulations. The following genera, till some of them
are better known, may be admitted in it, viz. Sphenophyllum, Annularia,
Asterophyllites, and Calamites. The genus Wolkmannia, admitted by some
authors, was formed for the nomenclature of the fruit of
Asterophyllites; it cannot be separated.
Brgt. Stems articulated, branching from the articulations; leaves
wedge-shaped, verticillate by six to twelve, truncate at the top, either
hi-lobate, or dentate, or laciniate.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|SPHENOPHYLLUM Schlotheimii, Brgt., Salem and Gate vein, &c., upper coal, Pa., and Ohio, Pomroy, Ohio.|
6, 7,) *52, 53
|SPHENOPHYLLUM emarginatum, Brgt., same places.||52, *53, 55
|SPHENOPHYLLUM filicaule [filiculme], Lsqx., same places.||*58
|SPHENOPHYLLUM trifoliatum, Lsqx., Salem vein, Pottsville.||55
|SPHENOPHYLLUM oblongifolium, Ung. ?||*57, 52
|SPHENOPHYLLUM erosum, Lind. & Hutt., Cuyahoga falls, (Newb'y).||*55, 58, 59, 726
|SPHENOPHYLLUM peltatum, Newb'y (ined.), same place.||...
|SPHENOPHYLLUM laciniatum, Newb'y (ined.), no locality mentioned.||...
|SPHENOPHYLLUM brevifolium, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls, Ohio.|
The species of this genus, as well as those of the whole family, are
pretty well distributed through the whole extent of the Coal-measures. A
few species only appear to characterise a peculiar geological level.
|2. - ANNULARIA, Sternb.
Like the former, but differs by the branches opposite from below the
base of the verticillate leaves; leaves lanceolate or linear, nerved in
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|ANNULARIA minuta, Brgt., Gate vein, Pottsville.||(xcii,
8, 8a,) *49, 51,
|ANNULARIA fertilis, Sternb., upper Coal-measures. Common.||45
|ANNULARIA longifolia, Brgt., Gate vein, Pottsville, &c. It descends to the lowest coal.||(ii,
1-2aa,) *45, 39, 46, 47, 48 705,
|ANNULARIA sphenophylloides, Ung., ? upper coal, Salem vein, Gate vein, &c., Pottsville; Pomroy, Ohio.|
8, 9,) *48, 47, 50
These species are mostly found in the upper Coal-measures.
|3. - ASTEROPHYLLITES,
Brongt. Stems articulated with opposite branches; leaves verticillate,
numerous, equal, linear, acute, slightly joined together at the base.
Inflorescence dicecious. Male flowers united in leafy catkins at the top
of the branches (Wolkmannia.) The fruit is a small nutlet at the axil
of the leaves.
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|ASTEROPHYLLITES gracilis, Brongt., Zanesville, Ohio.|
3-7), *42 *714,
|ASTEROPHYLLITES equisetiformis, Brongt. Abounds in the upper coal.||(ii,
3,3a,) *35, 41, 44, 717,
|ASTEROPHYLLITES foliosa, Lind. & Hutt., same place.||23, *38, 61, 704,
|ASTEROPHYLLITES crassicaulis, Lsqx., Gate vein, New Philadelphia.||...
|ASTEROPHYLLITES ovalis, Lsqx., same place.||(iii,
6,7,) 35, 36, 44
|ASTEROPHYLLITES sublaevis, Lsqx., Gate vein, Westwood.||*38
|ASTEROPHYLLITES tuberculata, Brgt., New Philadelphia, &c., upper coal.||45, 60, 705,
|ASTEROPHYLLITES lanceolata, Lsqx., same place.||38, 40, 721
|ASTEROPHYLLITES aperta, Lsqx., same place.||60, 61, 829
These three last species would belong to the genus Wolkmannia, Sternb.
All the Asterophyllites belong to the upper Coal-measures, and scarcely
descend to the low coal.
|4. - CALAMITES, Suck.
Stems cylindrical, hollow, striated in the length, articulated in the
leaves, narrow, encircling the stem like a sheet; ramification from the
axil of the leaves.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|CALAMITES decoratus, Brongt., Sharp Mt. vein, Pottsville. This species appears to belong only to the upper coal.||24, 25
|CALAMITES Suckowii, Brgt., common.||(i,
3, 4,) *20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 24
|CALAMITES ramosus, Brgt., Gate, Lewis, and Salem veins, Pottsville, Cuyahoga falls, Newb'y.||702
|CALAMITES undulatus, Brgt., Sharp Mt. vein, Pottsville. Cuyahoga falls, Ohio, Newb'y.||30
|CALAMITES cruciatus, Sternb., same places as No. 3.||26, 707,
|CALAMITES Cistii, Brgt., Wilkesbarre and Carbondale, (low coal).||*27, 26, 40, 704,
|CALAMITES dubius, Artis., Gate vein, Pottsville.||*27
|CALAMITES cannaeformis, Brgt., Carbondale, &c.||(i,
1,) *24, 20, 41
|CALAMITES pachyderma, Brgt., conglomerate sandstone, Trevorton; Akron, Ohio, Newb'y. Also in the conglomerate.||*28
|CALAMITES nodosus, Schloth., conglomerate, Cuyahoga falls, Newb'y.||20, 41
|CALAMITES bistriatus, Lsqx., New Philadelphia (upper coal).||27, 28
|CALAMITES disjunctus, Lsqx., Gate vein, Pottsville.||*29, 41
|CALAMITES approximatus, Brongt., common.||(i,
5,) *26, 27, 24, 32, 33, 710,
|CALAMITES Voltzii, Brgt. Quoted by Dr. Newberry without indication of locality.||...
STEMS OF TREES.
In this division of the stems, with the genus Psaronius, we have the following genera:
|1. - CAULOPTERIS,
Lind. & Hutt. Stem thick, externally marked with scars left by the
insertion of the petioles. Scars large, oval, with a broad, double, or
simple margin; disposed in spirals around the stem.
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|CAULOPTERIS punctata, Lsqx. Locality unknown.||339, 340
|CAULOPTERIS gigas, Lsqx., Carbondale (Mr. Clarkson's cabinet).||...
|CAULOPTERIS Cistii, Brgt., Wilkesbarre (quoted by M. Brongniart).
Specimens of this genus are very scarce. The few of which the locality was ascertained, belong to the low coal.
Corda. Stem round, equal, marked with elevated scars, very near each
other, and placed in spirals; the top of the elevated scars being
abruptly cut, rhomboidally.
|[Link points to a Google Books webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|DIPLOTEGIUM Brownianum, Corda., Portage Summit, Pa., low coal.||...
Stems creeping, from 2 to 6 inches thick, dichotomous, covered with
leaf-like fleshy appendages, either simple or forking, long, contracted
at the base, with a single vascular fascicle. Scars round, with a double
ring and a small elevated point (manilla) in the middle.
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|STIGMARIA ficoides, Brgt. Everywhere from the
base to the top of the Coal-measures. In the low coal it abounds,
especially in the shales of the roof; elsewhere in those of the bottoms
of the coal-beds.||(lxxiv,
*514, 503, 410, 843
|STIGMARIA anabathra, Corda. Scarce.||...
|STIGMARIA costata, Lsqx. Locality unknown.||...
|STIGMARIA umbonata, Lsqx., Gate vein, Pottsville.||(lxxiv,
|STIGMARIA irregularis, Lsqx. Same place.||...
|STIGMARIA minuta, Lsqx., old red sandstone (Ponent), Pottsville.||377, 378
|STIGMARIA radicans, Lsqx., Salem vein, Pottsville.||516
All the species of Stigmaria have apparently the same range of distribution as No. 1.
Stems large, ribbed, mostly marked with parallel or reticulated furrows.
Scars of the leaves placed in spirals, in the middle of the ribs,
disciform, oblong, or round, with the sides mostly angular, marked in
their middle by the scars of the vessels by three, two, seldom single.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|SIGILLARIA lepidodendrifolia, Brgt., New Philadelphia, upper coal.||*477
|SIGILLARIA sculpta, Lsqx. Same place.||470, 471
|SIGILLARIA obliqua, Brgt., Salem vein, Pottsville.||(lxxiii,
|SIGILLARIA dilatata, Lsqx., Gate and Salem veins, Pottsville.||*472
|SIGILLARIA fissa, Gate vein, New Philadelphia.||(lxxiii,
|SIGILLARIA Schimperi, Lsqx., Muddy Creek.||(lxxiii,
|SIGILLARIA stellata, Lsqx., Carbondale (Mr. Clarkson's cabinet).||(lxxiii,
|SIGILLARIA Menardi, Brgt., Muddy Creek. A common species.||401, *479, 480
|SIGILLARIA Brardii, Brgt., New Philadelphia.||(lxxiii,
*477, 479, 257, *797
|SIGILLARIA Defrancii, Brgt., Muddy Creek, Pa., and Massillon, Ohio, low coal.||480
|SIGILLARIA Serlii, Brgt. ? Trevorton, low coal.||*480
|SIGILLARIA tessellata, Brgt., same place.||(lxxii,
*481, 482, 483, 484, 503, 504
|SIGILLARIA elegans, Brgt., Summit, Lehigh, Carbondale, &c. Cuyahoga falls, Newb'y, low coal.||481
|SIGILLARIA Brochantii, Brgt., Summit, Lehigh, low coal.||*842
|SIGILLARIA alveolaris Brgt., same place, low coal.||481, 482
|SIGILLARIA scutellata, Brgt., Muddy Creek.||...
|SIGILLARIA Sillimanni, Brgt., Wilkesbarre (quoted by M. Brongniart-no specimen seen).||(lxxi,
6,) *493, 492
|SIGILLARIA oculata, Brgt., Trevorton.||...
|SIGILLARIA polita, Lsqx., Carbondale (Mr. Clarkson's cabinet).||(lxxiii,
|SIGILLARIA obovata, Lsqx., Trevorton, low coal.||*496
|SIGILLARIA reniformis, Brgt. A common species.||(lxx,
|SIGILLARIA laevigata, Brgt., New Philadelphia, Gate v.||(lxxi,1-3,)
*500, 490, 501
|SIGILLARIA Yardleyi, Sp. nov.||(lxxiii,
|SIGILLARIA elongata, Brgt., Summit, Lehigh.||...
|SIGILLARIA attenuata, Sp. nov.||(lxxii,
|SIGILLARIA alternans, Lind. & Hutt., Trevorton, low coal.||501, 502
|SIGILLARIA catenulata, Lind. & Hutt., same place.||...
|SIGILLARIA discoidea, Lsqx., Summit, Lehigh, low coal.||499
|SIGILLARIA acuminata, Newb'y, Ann. of Science, p. 164, fig. 1, Cuyahoga falls.||*496
|SIGILLARIA Biercei, Newb'y, loc. cit., fig. 2, Coshocton, Ohio.|
|SIGILLARIA pulchra, Newb'y, loc. cit., fig. 3, Youngstown, Ohio.|
|SIGILLARIA dentata, Newb'y, loc. cit., fig. 4, Cuyahoga falls, Ohio.|
|SIGILLARIA marineria, Hildreth, Cuyahoga falls and Poland, Ohio.|
|SIGILLARIA grandis, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|SIGILLARIA centralis, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|SIGILLARIA minuta, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|SIGILLARIA squamosa, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|5. - SYRIGODENDRON,
Sternb. Stems furrowed; ribs equal, parallel, narrow, bearing on the
corticated surface of the ribs small round scars, without any vascular
marks. The stems belonging to this genus are mostly found ribbed,
without any traces of scars.
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|SYRIGODENDRON pachyderma, Brgt., low coal. Common.||(lxx,
|SYRIGODENDRON cyclostegium, Brgt., same places as the former.||(lxx,
|SYRIGODENDRON Americanum, Newb'y (ined.) Cuyahoga falls.||...
The geological distribution of both the former
genera is not yet sufficiently examined. Some of the enumerated species
are certainly identical with others. The Sigillariae appear, like the
Stigmariae, to have lived during the whole epoch of the coal-formation;
but it is not now possible to assert what species belong to a peculiar
|[Links point either within this webpage or to Google Books. - GL,III, ed.]
|LEPIDODENDRON aculeatum, Sternb., common, Carbondale, &c.|| (lxiv,
1,) *371, 391, 394, 397
|LEPIDODENDRON rugosum, Sternb., Carbondale, &c., low coal.||384
|LEPIDODENDRON crenatum, Sternb., Lehigh Summit, &c.||*394
|LEPIDODENDRON obovatum, Sternb. Common.||(lxiv,
3,) 384, 371, 381, 385
|LEPIDODENDRON modulatum, Lsqx., Carbondale.||(lxiv,
13, 14,) *385, 392
|LEPIDODENDRON giganteum, Lsqx., Carbondale.||374, 392
|LEPIDODENDRON vestitum, Lsqx., Wilkesbarre and Carbondale.||(lxiv,
15,) *379, 369
|LEPIDODENDRON conicum, Lsqx., Carbondale.||385, 386
|LEPIDODENDRON oculatum, Lsqx., Carbondale (Mr. Clarkson's cabinet).||387
|LEPIDODENDRON distans, Lsqx., same place.||(lxiv,
|LEPIDODENDRON obtusum, Lsqx., same place.||*392
|LEPIDODENDRON carinatum, Lsqx., same place.||*386
|LEPIDODENDRON clypeatum, Lsqx. Common, Archibald, &c.||(lxiv,
16-18,) **380, 383, 395
|LEPIDODENDRON sigillarioides, Lsqx., Lehigh Summit.||379
|LEPIDODENDRON rimosum, Sternb., Carbondale.||(lxiv,
11,) *392, 393, 394, 405
|LEPIDODENDRON Mieleckii, Gopp.,? Lehigh Summit.||(lxiv,
|LEPIDODENDRON elegans, Brgt., Cuyahoga falls (Newb'y).||366, 367, 384
|LEPIDODENDRON gracile, Brgt., Cuyahoga falls (Newb'y).||366, 384
All the species of this genus, and of the four following, belong to the
low coal. It is very difficult to find a trace of Lepidodendron in the
grey-ash coal of Pa., and I have never seen any species of this genus
|7. - LEPIDOPHOLIOS,
Sternb. Stem tree-like, marked by the base of the leaves, which are
persistent and forming scales; scars at the top of the scales.
|[Links point to Yale's Peabody Museum - GL,III, ed.]
|LEPIDOPHLOIOS laricinum, Sternb., Cuyahoga falls, (Newb'y).||*422, 428, 429, 782
|LEPIDOPHLOIOS crassicaule, Brgt., same place (Newb'y).||*420
Fine specimens of Lepidopholios have been found in
the shales of the low coal in Illinois, Iowa, and Virginia : they are
still undescribed. Specimens of this genus, and of the three following,
are very scarce.
Stems marked with the rhomboidal scars of the leaves, bearing
two-ranked coniferous branches covered with imbricate leaves.
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|ULODENDRON majus, Lind. & Hutt., Great Kenawha, Va.; Salineville, Ohio (Newb'y).||(lxvi,
*401, 398, 415, 480
|ULODENDRON Lindleyanum, Sternb., Carbondale (Mr. Clarkson's cabinet).||405
Stem tree-like without bark, bearing small point-like scars placed
spirally with some larger two-ranked and obicular.
|[Link points to Yale's Peabody Museum - GL,III, ed.]
|MEGAPHYTUM discretum, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|10. - KNORRIA,
Sternb. Stems tree-like, covered with thick short leaves and scars of
branches. Leaves round, sessile, disposed in spirals; scars of the
|[Links point to Yale's Peabody Museum or to Google Books - GL,III, ed.]
|KNORRIA taxina, Lind. & Hutt., Cuyahoga falls (Newb'y).||...
|KNORRIA Hildrethii, Newb'y; Ficoidites scabrosus, Hild., Amer. Jour. of Science, vol. xxxi. p. 31.||...
|KNORRIA distans, Newb'y (ined.), Summit Co., Ohio.|
|CONES OR CATKINS AND THEIR SCALES.
|1. - LEPIDOPHYLLUM,
Brongt. Leaflets simple, sessile, entire, lanceolate, or linear, bearing
at their base an inflated bag (sporange,) full of spores, and forming,
by their union on a common axis, a catkin. (Lepidostrobus.)
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|LEPIDOPHYLLUM acuminatum, Lsqx., Johnstown, Pa.||(lxix,
37,) *450, 786
|LEPIDOPHYLLUM obtusum, Lsqx. Locality unknown.||*454
|LEPIDOPHYLLUM lanceolatum, Brgt., Carbondale (Mr. Chambers' cabinet).||786
|LEPIDOPHYLLUM affine, Lsqx., Wilkesbarre.||(lxix,
|LEPIDOPHYLLUM hastatum, Lsqx., Greensburg, (Rev. Mr. Moore's cabinet.)||438
|LEPIDOPHYLLUM brevifolium, Lsqx., Wilkesbarre.||(lxix,
33,) 453, 787
|LEPIDOPHYLLUM plicatum, Lsqx., Wilkesbarre.||...
Brongt. Catkin formed by winged sporanges (Lepidophylla),
perpendicularly attached on a common axis, and imbricated.
|[Links point within this webpage. - GL,III, ed.]
|LEPIDOSTROBUS ornatus, Lind. & Hutt., Pa. and Ohio, low coal.||*440
|LEPIDOSTROBUS variabilis, Lind. & Hutt. With the former.||(lxix,
2,) 437, *434, 438, 439, *783
|LEPIDOSTROBUS pinaster, Lind. & Hutt., same places.||...
|LEPIDOSTROBUS macrolepis, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
These two genera, being fruits of Lepidodendron, have of course the same
geological distribution. The leaves of Lepidodendron, which are
narrowly linear, grass-like, have been sometimes described either as
blades of grass or as true Lepidophyllum.
|3. - BRACHYPHYLLUM, Brongt. Stems ? or dichotomous axis covered with imbricated obtuse leaves placed in spirals.
|[Links point to Google Books or to Lesquereux's Pennsylvania Coal Flora - GL,III, ed.]
|BRACHYPHYLLUM ? obtusum, Lsqx., low coal, Massillon, Ohio. [see Lepidocystis obtusus - GL,III, ed.]|
|FRUITS OR NUTLETS.
|1. - CARDIOCARPON, Brongt. Capsules lenticular, compressed, obcordate or reniform, acuminate.
|[Links point to this webpage, Yale's Peabody Museum and Google Books - GL,III, ed.]
|CARDIOCARPON Trevortoni, Lsqx., Trevorton, low coal.|
|CARDIOCARPON plicatum, Lsqx. Same place.||*597
|CARDIOCARPON Samaraforme (Newb'y), Annals of Science, p. 152, fig. 1. Cuyahoga falls||*562
|CARDIOCARPON annulatum, Newb'y, loc. cit., fig. 2. Youngs-town, Ohio.|
|CARDIOCARPON latum, Newb'y, loc. cit., fig. 3. Cuyahoga falls.||*567
|CARDIOCARPON minus, Newb'y, loc. cit., fig. 4. Same place.||(lxxxv,
|CARDIOCARPON orbiculare, Newb'y, loc. cit., fig. 5. Same place.||(lxxxv,
|CARDIOCARPON elongatum (Newb'y), loc. cit., fig. 6. Youngstown, Ohio.|
16, 17,) *567, *809
|CARDIOCARPON punctatum ? Gopp., Muddy Creek.||*597
All the species enumerated above, except perhaps the last, have been found in the low coal.
|2.-RHABDOCARPOS, & Berg. Fruit oval, ribbed in its length by parallel lines.
|[Links point to this webpage or to Google Books - GL,III, ed.]
|RHABDOCARPOS amygdalaeformis, Gopp. & Berg. Trevorton.||(lxxxv,
27, 28,) *581
|RHABDOCARPOS venosus, Lsqx., Gate. vein, Pottsville.||...
|RHABDOCARPOS compressus, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls.||...
|3. - TRIGONOCARPON, Brongt. Fruit ovoid, three to six ribbed, with a broad hexagonal, flattened base.
|[Links point to Yale's Peabody Museum or to Google Books - GL,III, ed.]
|TRIGONOCARPON Schultzianum, Gopp., Berg. Trevorton low coal. |
|TRIGONOCARPON Hilrethii, Lsqx., Poland Co., Ohio (D. Hildreth).||*588
|TRIGONOCARPON oblongum, Lind. & Hutt., Trevorton.||*593
|TRIGONOCARPON Noeggerathii ? Brgt. Cuyahoga falls (Newb'y).||(lxxxv,
1,) *584, 586, 590, 594
|TRIGONOCARPON tricuspidatum Newb'y (ined.), same place.||*591
|TRIGONOCARPON magnum, Newb'y, (ined.) Coshocton, Ohio.|
|TRIGONOCARPON multistriatum, Newb'y (ined.), Cuyahoga falls. ||(cxi,
These fruits, and those of the following genus, have been mostly found
in the low coal; a few of them are found the upper Coal-measures, but
|4. - CARPOLITHES, Sterub. Fruits or nutlets of variable forms.
|[Links point within this webpage or to Google Books - GL,III, ed.]
|CARPOLITHES fraxiniformis, Gopp., old red sandstone, (Ponent), below Pottsville. |
|CARPOLITHES bifidus, Lsqx., Trevorton low coal.||(lxxxv,
16,) *593, 808
|CARPOLITHES disjunctus, Lsqx., same place.||586
|CARPOLITHES platimarginatus, Lsqx., Trevorton.||582
|CARPOLITHES acuminatus, Sternb., same place.||*596
|CARPOLITHES bicuspidatus, Sternb., common, low coal.||573
|CARPOLITHES multistriatus, Sternb., common. It ascends higher in the Coal-measures than the former.||578
|CARPOLITHES umbonatus, Sternb. Low coal.||...
|CARPOLITHES retusus, Sternb., Cuyahoga falls (Newb'y).||*596
|CARPOLITHES minutus, Newb'y (ined.), same place.||...
|To this enumeration
of the species of fossil plants of our Coal-measures, I could add
species of Cyperites, Lind. & Hutt., and of Pinnularia of the same
authors. But the first genus represents only the leaves of some
Sigillariae. Lepidodendron, or even Stigmaria, and the species of the
second, are referable to some roots which cannot be described by
|About three hundred
species of plants are enumerated in this catalogue. It is not possible
to foretell how far the number may be increased by subsequent
investigation. But until now the fossil plants of America have not been
carefully collected, except by Dr Newberry and by myself; and it is
probable that future explorations will at least double the number of
these species. There are already about fifty species newly collected,
which have not been described, and are not enumerated above.
Comments by Prof. J.H. Balfour
[Introductory explanation by Prof. Lesquereux: ] My friend Prof. J. H.
Balfour, Regius Professor of Botany in the University of Edinburgh, has
kindly favoured me with the following notes upon the specimens of fossil
vegetation figured on Plate XXI, Plate XXII, and Plate XXIII, and upon two other
specimens not figured:
As regards the fossil plants sent for examination, it is not easy to
come to any definite conclusion regarding them; I can only, I fear, give
very crude conjectures respecting their nature. We may call many of
them Algoids, and refer to existing Algae which they resemble, but it is
absolutely impossible to point to any characters which will fix what
they are. In speaking of the difficulty of determining such fossil
specimens, Professor Harvey says:
|"I need but remind you of the algoid forms of
Podostemaceae—where you have often an external habit so closely
resembling that of an alga, that, till you resort to the knife and the
microscope, you may be easily deceived."
Entertaining similar views, it is with great diffidence that I hazard any conjecture on the drawings sent for my inspection.
No. I. Filicoid ? Plate XXI, lower—A fern-like frond apparently resembling the primordial
or barren frond of a Platycerium. The frond spreads in a radiating
manner, with forked striae not unlike the veins of a fern. At the edge
the frond seems to have been folded in one or two places. There are
several known species of Platycerium at the present day; viz., Platycerium alcicorne, a native of Madagascar and Eastern Asia, and found also in Eastern Peru; Platycerium grande, in New Holland and Singapore; Platycerium stemmaria, in tropical Western Africa; Platycerium biforme, in the Malay islands.
The fossil plant, however, may be an algoid, although the forked
venation is adverse to that view. If so, then it may be regarded as
allied to Padina.
No. II. Lepidodendron, sp. ? Plate XXI, upper—A
slender species of the genus, with imperfect markings in the form of
dots arranged in a circular manner round the stem. The markings want the
usual alternate arrangement of Lepidodendron scales.
No. III. Leaf of a Gymnosperm ? Plate XXII, single—Resembling that of Salisburi adiantifolia.
There appears to be a common broad petiole, whence proceeds a lamina
divided into cuneate segments. The venation is very marked, and proceeds
in a radiating manner.
No. IV. Algoid ? Plate XXIII, single—Resembling a Desmarestia. The stalk divides in a forked manner, and gives off narrow pinnae, some of which are again pinnate.
No. V. Algoid ?—Resembling Nemastoma comosa,
an Australian alga. There is a central rachis which gives off branches,
and then divides into small ramifications, which come off in a pinnate
No. VI. Algoid ?—Resembling Halosaccion ramentaceum of J. Agardh's work, the Fucus ramentaceus of Turner's "Icones Fucorum," vol. iii., tab. 149. In some of the fossil specimens there is a swelling whence the stalk seems to proceed.
On the whole subject of such fossil forms, I would take leave to forward
to you the following words of Harvey, who, in speaking of a sea-weed
called Ptilota rhodocallis, says:
|"At first sight this beautiful species might almost be taken for Phacelocarpus Billardieri,
so similar are its ramifications and colour; but the structure of the
frond and the fructification are so different, that we are forced to
refer these Algae to widely-separated families. Geologists sometimes
complain that botanists refuse definitively to name fossil plants whose
impressions are left on sandstone, and, in the geological sense,
well-preserved; but cases such as the present—and it is one of a
thousand—show how uncertain must be the determination even of the best
stone-printing of a fossil stem. What shall we say, then, of the
positive settlement of the affinities and structure of fossil shadows,
where there does not remain the faintest trace in stone of the entity
that was and is not ?"
J. H. BALFOUR.