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Order 6. Adiantites
(FERNS, continued.)

ADIANTITES Paleopteris Sphenopteris laxa Palaeopteris Hybernica
TRIPHYLLOPTERIS LESCURIANA Noeggerathia obliqua Cyclopteris Jacksoni ? Adiantites Bockschii
Cyclopteris Lescuriana ARCHAEOPTERIS OBTUSA Sphenopteris Hitchcockiana Cyclopteris Bockschii
ARCHAEOPTERIS Noeggerathia obtusa Palaeopteris Haliana Noeggerathia Bockschiana
Adiantites Noeggerathia minor Cyclopteris hybernica Cyclopteris Rogersi
Noeggerathia ARCHAEOPTERIS HALLIANA Cyclopteris McCoyana Cyclopteris (Archceopteris) Alleghaniensis


Fronds large, bipinnate; pinnules oblique, simple or bi-, trilobed, gradually narrowed to the point of attachment; veins dichotomous from the base, dividing fan-like, straight, thin, distinctly marked.

To this group I refer
Triphyllopteris, Schp., and Archaeopteris, Daws.


Lower pinnules subopposite, tripartite or trifoliate, the upper ones gradually simple, all narrowed or contracted to a flat slightly demurring pedicel; veins all equal, simple or dichotomous, diverging fan-like.


Cyclopteris Lescuriana, Meek, Bull. Phil. Soc., Wash., 1875, Appendix, p. 16, Pl. II, f. la, b, c.

Frond bipinnate, rachis of medium size and flexuous, rugose crosswise; pinnae alternate, narrowly lanceolate, open, with a narrow slightly flexuous rachis; lower pinnules  alternate, the inferior ones only subopposite, broadly wedge form, narrowed to a short, oblique, flat, pedicel, slightly decurring to the rachis, deeply three, rarely four lobate; lobes cut to the middle or lower, narrowly cuneiform, the middle one distinctly longer, all lanceolate-acute, entire or rarely obscurely dentate; nervation of the genus.

The beautiful representation of this fine species is reproduced from Prof. Meek's plate. The author remarks that the nervation is rather obscure, the nerves not very numerous, moderately diverging and apparently bifurcating. He says also in a foot note, that the upper side of the pinnules can be seen under a strong magnifier to be covered with numerous extremely minute crowded longitudinal striae, apparently independent of the nervation, and which can be traced down to the narrowed base. This appearance is the same in some of the Ferns, which I have described as
Eremopteris and also, though less distinctly seen, upon the leaves of species of Archaeopteris when the epidermis is preserved. I have remarked it also on the upper surface of the leaflets of many Ferns of the coal. It seems caused by extremely thin wrinkles or folding of the tissue which do not affect in any way the venation. The rugosity is sometimes crosswise, like that observed upon the epidermis of species of Cordaites.

This Fern is still more intimately related to
Archaeopteris than the species described as Eremopteris, which all by the characters of the ramification, the veins, the narrowed base, etc., might be very reasonably included, as they have been by Brongniart, into a same generic division that of Adiantites, which would comprise, with few exceptions, subcarboniferous Ferns.

Habitat—Lewis tunnel, Allegheny Co., Virginia, at the inferior part of the subcarboniferous series, Prof. B. F. Meek.

Cyclopteris, Goepp.;
Adiantites, Brgt.

Noeggerathia, Lesqx.;
Paleopteris, Schp.

The species of this genus have been indifferently and more generally described as Cyclopteris and Adiantites. In Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, I considered these plants as identical to Noeggerathia, St., from the great likeness of the divisions of the pinnae, and from the similarity of venation. Schimper considering the insufficiency of denomination under which species of far different characters had been described and also the error of references of these plants, true Ferns, to an European species which though little known was supposed to be referable to Palms or Cicada, proposed for them the name Palaeopteris in his Paleontologie vegetale. This name however being preoccupied by Geinitz, Dawson re-placed it by a synonym, Archaeopteris, which is likely to stand now if new discoveries do not prove that Noeggerathia as figured and described by Sternberg and after him by Goeppert, is a Fern according to the opinion of this last author who compared it to Adianthum and not a kind of Cycas, as Brongniart will have it. My own opinion on this subject is of no account, as I have not been able to see any European specimen of Noeggerathia, and know these plants merely by the descriptions and figures of the authors. Judging merely from these figures, the leaves of Archoeopteris have as far as I can see the same characters as those indicated for the genus Noeggerathia, viz: leaves pinnate; pinnules cuneiform or obovate, sessile, open or erect, entire or splitting at the top; veins straight more or less diverging simple and dichotomous. This is the description of Noeggerathia by Schimper, Paleont. veget., II, p. 120. Goeppert in Gatt., V, VI, p. 107, adds to his description of the genus, which coincidates with the above, this remark: this genus has been until now of doubtful relation. It has been generally considered as referable to Palms; close examination of a specimen communicated by the author (Sternberg), leads me to suppose that it belongs to the Ferns and is related to Cyclopteris. The disposition of the veins is however sufficient to separate the genera. In Cyclopteris the veins, diverging from their point of origin in the lower part of the leaves, multiply by divisions, so that there is a marked difference in their thickness from the base to the borders, while in Noeggerathia, they come out from the base, preserving the same thickness, being at first parallel but gradually diverging on account of the widening of the lamina and dichotomously divided in acute angle. To the above may be now compared the description of Archaeopteris as given by Shimper, Paleont, Veget., 1, p. 475.

Frond bipinnate; pinnules obovate or ovate oblong, inequilateral, gradually narrowed to a short subdecurrent pedicel, very entire or more or less split on the borders; veins coming out of the rachis, repetito-dichotomous, nearly straight; veinlets numerous, thin; fertile pinnules placed in the middle of the pinnae, much divided, bearing numerous fascicles of club-shaped capsules or spore cases, attached to an excurring medial nerve.

The species of this genus made until now from too fragmentary or from obscure specimens are much mixed and uncertain. They may be separated into two groups from the characters of the rachis: [
Rachis striate lengthwise ... and Rachis wrinkled crosswise ... GL,III, ed.]

§1. Rachis striate lengthwise.


Noeggerathia obliqua (Goepp.), Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, p. 854.

Leaf bipinnate; pinnae oblique; pinnules comparatively long, wedge-form, or gradually narrowed to the point of attachment, obliquely truncate at the apex; veins emerging from the base, dichotomous, distinct.

This species is separated from all the others by its long pinnules, four to five centimeters long, exactly cuneiform, or gradually and equally enlarging.upwards from the base to the truncate apex which is obscurely crenulate. This last character is not distinct. The base of the pinnules is somewhat broad, slightly decurring.

I referred incorrectly this species, l.c., to
Noeggerathia obliqua, Goep., Gatt., V, VI, Pl. XII, f. 2, on account of the obliquely truncate top of the pinnules. Goeppert's species is a Cordaites, and has no relation to plants of this kind.

Habitat—Red shale of the Vespertine below Pottsville, where it was found by my friend E. Desor, in 1851. I have not seen, since that time, any other specimen of that character, and never had an opportunity of reexamining those from which the species was described.

ARCHAEOPTERIS OBTUSA, Lesqx., Plate XLIX, Figs. 6, 7.

Noeggerathia obtusa, Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, p. 854, Plate I, f. 11.

Primary pinna very large; divisions alternate, open or curving back from the narrow naked rachis; pinnules large, half round at the apex, contracted and narrowed to the decurring base; nervation of the genus.

Plate XLIX
, f. 6 is copied from the Geol. of Penn'a, l.c. and from it my decription was made at that time. Later I received from Mr. H. A. Riley of Montrose, Pa., a sketch of part of a pinna of a very large size, the lateral divisions twenty centimeters long, open and curving back, with pinnules, the largest (not figured) six centimeters broad in the upper rounded part, with borders entire undulate or even lobed at the top, as seen Plate XLIX, f. 6, abruptly narrowed to a decurring base. The average width of the pinnules is about four centimeters. Though the specimen is a large slab thirty-three centimeters broad and as long, none of the pinnae is preserved whole. All of the pinnules have exactly the same character as seen upon the first published fragment, Plate XLIX, f. 6. Part of the plant from Montrose is reproduced in Dana's Manual of Geology, f. 557A.

Prof. Dawson has figured under this same name in Geol. Surv. of Canada, Foss. Pl. of the Dev. and Silur., 1871, p. 46, Pl. XVI, f. 188, a fragment of two pinnae with the rachis slightly flexuous and pinnules oval long pediceled, which seems referable to a different species. The figure represents the venation with a basilar medial nerve from which the veins are derived, or flabellate dichotomous form a central point, as in
Cyclopteris, contrary to the character of Archaeopteris, whose veins are all coming out from the base, straight, dichotomous and diverging by branches in proportion to the enlarging of the lamina. He also remarks, p. 8, that Archaeopteris obtusa belongs to a group with clustered pinnules, a character which does not belong to the plant, no more than does the long pedicel of the leaflets of his species.

Habitat—Vespertine red shale, below Mauch Chunk. Catskill red shale, Montrose, Pa., Mr. Henry A. Riley.

ARCHAEOPTERIS MINOR, Lesqx., Plate XLIX, Fig. 5; Plate L, Figs. 1-4.

Noeggerathia minor, Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, p. 854, Plate I, f. 10.

Pinnce oblique, rigid, sublinear; pinnules opposite or alternate, obovate, narrowed to a short decurring pedicel, very variable in size, oblique or slightly recurved from the base; fructifications of the genus.

All the specimens represented
Plate L, f. 1-4, have been found in the same bank of shale with a number of others. The pinnules vary from three to twenty five millimeters in length, generally narrow, either distant as in Plate L, f. 4, or close and contiguous as in Plate L, f. 1. They are generally obtuse and entire at the top, but sometimes undulate even undulately lobed, as in Plate L, f. 2 and 4. Except therefore the diminutive size of the pinnules positively narrower, especially at the top which is not broadly round, but merely obtuse, even narrowed from the middle to an obtuse apex as in Plate L, f. 4, there is not a very marked difference between this and the former species. The undulations of the pinnules, Plate XLIX, f. 6, are quite as distinctly seen in f. 4 of Plate L. This last pinna might perhaps be considered as referable to another species; but comparing it to Plate L, f. 2, the pinnules appear exactly of the same character, and between this to Plate L, f. 3, on one side and to Plate L, f. 1, on the other, there is a series of intermediate forms, in specimens not figured, which do not permit a doubt on the identity of all the fragments. On the same pinna the pinnules are more or less oblique, more or less enlarged at the top and more or less curved backwards from the point of attachment. The rachis is generally thick, smooth, irregularly striate lengthwise and without any separate pinnules attached to it. The fructifications are of the same type as those described in the diagnosis of the genus which was made by Schimper from specimens of Archaeopteris Hybernica. The support of the capsules is not a medial nerve, but a pedicel, gradually narrower to the apex, where it slightly curves upward, while in the European species it is percurrent, prolonged beyond. the capsules and flexuous. The capsules appear as figured, open, composed of three laciniae or lobes which seem placed aside as in Plate L, f. 3a, generally erect on the upper part of the pedicel, also sometimes pending from it. These lobes, divisions of an indusium or spore case, are generally pressed together in such a confused mass that it is not possible to see the exact mode of their attachment, either as valves of an opened indusium or as closed capsules. They are flat or somewhat concave on one side, convex and marked by an obscure line like a medial nerve on the other, oblong or linear, obtuse at both ends. Plate L, f. 3 and 3a, enlarged, represent them as exactly as it has been possible to observe them upon a number of specimens. The pinnae, some of which bear leaflets at base, are oblique and, apparently long. They are all broken about in the middle, eight centimeters from the rachis.

To this species I refer Archaeopteris stricta, Andrews, Ohio Geol. Rept., Paleont., II, p. 418, Pl. XLIX, f. 2, 2a, part of which is represented upon our Plate XLIX, f. 8, 8a. The pinnae are more open; the pinnules smaller, more distant and more distinctly curved back. But we have the top of a pinna with leaflets of the same size, and with the same characters, Atlas, Plate L, f. 1, on the reverse of the fructified specimen Plate L, f. 3. The number of veinlets at the border of the pinnules is exactly the same, ten to twelve. Schimper identifies Archaeopteris minor with Archaeopteris Roemerianna, Goepp., from which it differs by the rachis striate lengthwise.

Habitat—Red shale below Mauch Chunk, a single fragment; Bluffs of the Susquehanna above Pittston, Pa., there abundant. The Cabinet of Mr. J. P. Rosecranz of this place has a very large number of specimens of this fine species. We obtained fruiting fragments in visiting the locality with him.
  Catskill Red Shale, Tioga county, Mr. M. A. Sherwood.

Sphenopteris laxa, Hall., Geol. Rept. of New York, IV; p. 274, f. 127.

Cyclopteris Halliana, Goepp., Uebergsg. Fl , p. 145 and 498.

Daws. Fl. of the Dev. Period, Sixteen Ann. Geol. Rept. of New York, p. 117, f. 10.

Devon, plants, Quat. Jour. Geol. Soc., XVIII, p. 318, Pl. XVII, f. 54, 55.

Devon. Plants of Maine, Nov., 1863, p. 469, Pl. XIX, f. 28.

Cyclopteris Jacksoni ? Daws., Sixteen Ann. Rept., l.c., p. 115, f. 9.

Devon. plants of Maine, etc., 1863, p. 462, Pl. XIX, f. 26.

Geol. Surv. of Canada, 1871, p. 45, Pl. XV, f. 167-169.

Sphenopteris Hitchcockiana, Daws., ibid., p. 52, Pl. XV, f. 175.

[Orphan footnote: *
Palaeopteris Haliana, Schp., Paleont. Veget., I, p. 477. - GL,III, ed.]

Frond bipinnate; pinnae alternate, sublinear, equidistant, open; pinnules alternate, open, oblong or spathulate, narrowed to a short petiole, entire; rachis alate by interposition of simple pinnules between the pinnae; veins emerging from the base, simple or dichotomous.

As far as I can judge from the figure given of the species in the Sixteenth Ann. Rept. of New York, l.c., the pinnules are remarkably different in size, becoming larger towards the end of the lateral pinnae and along the main rachis between the pinnae. It may be however that the interposed pinnules are partly buried into the stone, and show merely fragments of their laminas.

Schimper refers with doubt to this species
Cyclopteris Jacksoni, Daws., l.c. As I have not seen any specimen of these two forms I am unable to decide. From appearance of the figures, the characters are identical. The same author quotes Sphenopteris Hitchcockiana, Daws., l.c., as a fruiting pinna of Archaeopteris Halliana. That this figure represents the fructification of a species of Archaeopteris is positive, and Prof. Dawson has already recognized the accuracy of this reference; but in the absence of sterile leaflets, it is not possible to say to what species the fragment is referable. A figure of the same kind, indeed very similar to that of Sphenopteris Hitchcockiana, is given in Prof. Crepin, Bull. Acad. Roy, d. Belgique, Aout., 1874, p. 5, Pl. I, f. 1, under the name of Psilophytum Condrusorum. It differs from that of Prof. Dawson merely in the acute lobes of the spore cases. And even this difference could not serve as a specific diagnosis; for those capsules of Archaeopteris are generally mixed and flattened in such a way that it is scarcely possible to satisfactorily define their form and position even with a powerful glass.

The only relation of the fructifications of any Ferns remarked until now with those of
Archaeopteris is with the genus Calymmotheca of Stur, as represented in Calymmotheca Strangeri, Culm. f1., Pl. VIII, f. 7.*

*Schimper in a new work not yet out of the press, Handbuck der Paleontologie, prepared in cooperation with Karl A. Zittle, figures in the botanical part, p. 114, the fructification of Triphyllopteris Collombi, which show a close affinity to those of Archaeopteris. They represent very small globular sporanges, disposed in racemes, like bunches of grapes.

Habitat—Devonian measures of New York, Hall, for Archaeopteris Halliana. The specimen of Archaeopteris Jacksoni, and Archaeopteris Hitchcockiana, are from the Upper Devonian of Maine, Perry County, and the Lower Devonian of New York.
ARCHAEOPTERIS HYBERNICA ? Ed. Forbes, Plate L, Fig. 5.

Cyclopteris hybernica, Ed. Forbes, Proc. Brit. Assoc., 1852.

Goepp. Uebergsg. Fl., p. 499, Pl. XXXVIII, f. la, b.

McCoyana, Goepp. (fide Schp.), ibid., p. 500, Pl. XXXVIII, 2a, b.

Palaeopteris Hybernica, Schp., Paleont. veget. I, p. 475, Pl. XXXVI.

Frond very large; pinnae long; pinnules close, subimbricate, obovate decurring to the rachis by a short pedicel entire or undulate-crenate; rachis winged by intermediate pinnules attached to it.

I have a single leaflet which appears referable to the species by its undulate borders and its broadly obovate shape. This pinnule comes from a different locality than the specimens of
Archaeopteris minor but of the same geological horizon. Comparing it to Plate L, f. 2b, of the splendid plate illustrating this species in Schp., Paleont. Veget., l.c., the likeness is well marked indeed. The pinnule is not unequilateral as are generally those of Archaeopteris hybernica; but in many of. these as in f. 2b, l.c., for example, the leaflets are equal on both sides similar to the one we have figured.

The leaflet, Atlas,
Plate L, f. 5, though somewhat smaller has also the same characters and facies as the one figured by Daws, Quat. Jour. Geol. Soc., v. XVII, Pl. XII, f. 8, and described p. 273, as Noeggerathia Gibboensis from the Chemung of N. Y. I consider it referable to this species.

Habitat.—Red shale of the Vespertine, near Pittston, Pa., Mr. James P. Rosencrantz.


Adiantites Bockschii, Goepp., Syst., p. 384, Pl. XXXVI,  f. 6.

 Cyclopteris Bockschii, Goepp., Uebergsg. Fl., p. 501, Pl. XXXVIII, f. 8.

Noeggerathia Bockschiana, Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, 1858, p. 854, Plate III, f. 1-1d.

Bipinnate; pinnae short, oblique; pinnules variable in form and size, generally oblique, small, reniform or broadly obovate, entire, short pedicellate, the terminal larger, broad, obtuse at the apex, contracted or gradually narrowed to its base a prolongation of the rachis, undulate or splitting in the upper part; veins straight, dichotomous, and diverging fan-like.

The fragments figured give an idea of the general character of the Fern. The pinnae are short, oblique or in right angle, mostly trifoliate as in
Plate XLIX, f. 1, 3, the upper ones, Plate XLIX, f. 2, pinnately divided. The side leaflets of the pinnate branches are generally unequilateral, either transversely oval or kidney-shaped, very short-pediceled, five to seven millimeters long, one centimeter broad; those of the trifoliate pinnae are much larger, broadly cuneiform and rounded at the apex, narrowed to a slightly longer pedicel, the terminal ones are larger, either undulate or split at the top.

Though the leaflets are far different in shape from those of all the other species known of this genus, they have positively the same characters of nervation, as also the mode of attachment of the pinnules. From the likeness merely in the shape of the terminal pinnules,
Plate XLIX, f. 4, I referred this species to Adiantites Bockschii, Goepp., l.c. According to Prof. Schimper, this reference is very uncertain, as Goeppert' s species is not well known and is represented only by a single leaflet.

Habitat—Vespertine strata opposite Mauch Chunk; also below Pottsville on the same formation, always found in small fragments.

§2. Rachis wrinkled crosswise.


Cyclopteris Rogersi, Daws, Quat. Journ., Geol. Soc., Nov., 1863, p. 463, Pl. XVII, f. 17 and 18; XIX, f. 27.

Cyclopteris (Archceopteris) Alleghaniensis, Meek, Bull. Phil. Soc. of Wash., Dec. 1875, Appendix p. 18, PI. f. 2a, b.

Primary pinnae linear-lanceolate, with a comparatively strong transversely wrinkled rachis; lateral pinnae in right angle, close, short, oblong, obtuse; pinnules obovate, narrowed towards the base and decurrent to the rachis; venation of the genus.

Part of the beautiful figure of Prof. Meeks' memoir, l.c., is reproduced upon our plate with the name applied to it by the author. It is however evident that his species
Cyclopteris Alleghaniensis is identical with that of Prof. Dawson, Cyclopteris Rogersi, and that therefore this last name should be preserved. In both the figures given by the Canadian Geologist and in that of Meek, the peculiar characters, larger base of the decurrent pinnules, and rachis wrinkled crosswise, are represented the same. They are also identical in Cyclopteris Roemeriana, Goepp. Uebergsg. l.c., Fl., p. 491, Pl. XXXVII, f. 8a and 8b, which however has the pinnules longer and narrower. Notwithstanding this difference I believe that Prof. Dawson is right in considering his species as the American representative of Cyclopteris Roemeriana. Curiously enough, this last species is regarded by Crepin as a mere var. minor of Archaeopteris Hybernica, which has the rachis striate lengthwise and beset with pinnules intermediate to the pinnae or winged.

Habitat.—Lowest series of the carboniferous measures. Red shale of Perry county, Maine, Prof. Hitchcock. Lewis tunnel, Alleghany county, Virginia, Prof. B. F. Meek.