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LEPIDODENDRON (concluded.)

LEPIDOCYSTIS Brachyphyllum obtusum Carpolithes fraxiniformis SPOROCYSTIS PLANUS

Spore cases long, naked, attached in right angle and opposite to abroad rachis, or short, placed in spiral order upon long flexuous axes, or isolated sporanges, detached from strobiles of unknown character.

The limitation of this genus is vague and uncertain. I refer to it as seen by the figures Atl., Plate LXIX, f. 3-7, 16-24, organs which, though representing fructifications of the Lycopodiacece, are either obscurely related by their characters, or without affinity to what is known until now of the plants of this family. Under the same name are described sporanges detached from their support and of uncertain relation.


Axis flat and broad, supporting cylindrical contiguous and parallel sporanges, pointed at both ends.

The figure does not need explanation. The fragment is distinct and exactly figured. The cylindrical capsules placed aside and contiguous, are evidently spore cases. They are broken or opened in some places by obliteration of the cortex. The inside is concave, corresponding in shape to the convex outside. They are all of the same size, one and a half centimeters long, about half a centimeter in diameter.

Habitat—The specimen is No. 423 of Mr. R. D. Lacoe' s collection from the subconglomerate Campbell's ledge near Pittston. I have not seen any other.

Sporanges short, parallel, nearly contiguous on the sides, attached by a truncate base to a flattened axis, regularly striate crosswise, marked in the middle by a prominent ridge or nerve passing out at the top into a short blunt mucro.

The mode of attachment of the sporanges is not distinctly seen. They appear joined to a flattened axis by their base. As in the former species, the axis is striate. The sporanges are only half as long, seven millimeters, five to six millimeters broad, highly convex or rhomboidal by cross section, the upper angle being carinate by an inflation or nerve enlarging from the base to the outside, where it passes beyond the lamina into a short blunt point.

Habitat—The fragment is in the collection of Mr. Wm. Lorenz, of Philadelphia; found at South Salem vein of Port Carbon, Penn'a.

Axis broad, bearing elongated rhomboidal scars of sporanges; sporanges exactly cubic, joined to the axis by one of their faces.

The axis is three to four millimeters broad; the fragment represented in the figure being part of a long strobile whose shape was originally cylindrical, but which flattened by compression has lost by maceration the sporanges of its upper convex surface. These sporanges are short, three millimeters on each side; the point of attachment, as seen from the scars, is made by superposition of one of its faces.

Habitat—Collection of Mr. Wm. Lorenz, of Philadelphia. It is from the Mammoth vein.
LEPIDOCYSTIS OBTUSUS, Sp. nov., Plate LXIX, Figs. 6,7.

Brachyphyllum obtusum, Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, (1858,) p. 876, Plate XVII, f. 8.

Strobile long, flexuous, cylindrical and narrow; sporanges disposed in, spiral, rhomboidal, obtuse or truncate at both ends; scars upon the axis same as in the former species.

The form is common in the lowest beds of the Anthracite, the Five Foot and Mammoth veins, there found always in fragments, some of them as long as twenty to thirty centimeters. The sporanges are somewhat larger than in Lepidocystis quadrangularis, but possibly the enlarging and deformation is caused by vertical compression, for all the specimens seen are flattened. One of the specimens of Mr. Lorenz bears remains of this species on one side, while on the other it has others like those of the former. In comparing f. 6 and 7 of our plate with f. 8 of the Geol. of Penn'a, l.c., the outlines of these sporanges seem different. Indeed, it is extremely difficult to positively represent the shape of these sporanges, so varied it is even upon a same specimen. They are certainly sporanges. I have seen spores aside of a fragment of strobile; but have not been able to observe them in the interior of one of the spore-cases, which are of hard coriaceous texture. Probably some of these sporanges opened and bearing seeds will be found hereafter.

In Geol. of Penn'a (1858) this plant was erroneously referred to the genus Brachyphyllum established by Brongniart, Tabl. d. genres, p. 69, for branches of conifers of the Jurassic. I remarked, however, in the description, l.c., that this vegetable could not represent a true Brachyphyllum, but rather a narrow catkin of a Lepidodendron or a Lepidostrobus.

Habitat—Anthracite basin of Penn'a; not rare, but not seen elsewhere.
LEPIDOCYSTIS ANGULARIS, Sp. nov., Plate LXIX, Figs. 16, 17.

Strobile short, nearly round; spore case imbricated in circular rows, upon a broad axis; scales covering them ovate, angular at the top.

The analysis of these fragments is difficult, as I cannot positively see if the whole organism represents a cone or a mere sporange with spores covered with scales; Atlas, f. 15 represents either the axis or the case emptied of its spores. I have now under my eyes another specimen of the same or of an analogous species which is twice as broad as Atlas, f. 17, twenty-three millimeters transversely, and fifteen in vertical direction. The spores and their decking scales are also two ranked, but they appear disposed star-like in groups of five oval sori around a central elevated point like those of the Ferns. It is, however, evident that these vegetable organs cannot be referred to Ferns. The one not figured and larger is reniform or slightly emarginate in the middle, at both the upper and lower ends like a broad sporange with two valves opened, containing one-celled large macrospores.

Habitat—Communicated by Mr. R. D. Lacoe. Specimen Nos. 301 and 306, from Campbell's Ledge, sub or intra-conglomerate. The larger specimen not figured, is from Mr. I. F. Mansfield, No. 425, in shale of the Cannelton coal.

Carpolithes vesicularis, Geol. Rept. of Ill., IV, p. 462, Pl. XXXI, f. 19-21.

Bladder-like sporanges, originally inflated, but flattened in the shale and deformed by compression.

These sporanges, averaging about one centimeter in diameter, are most varied in their forms, more generally irregularly oval, or nearly square in outline, or circular, inflated on the borders, with a round depression in the middle. Figure 20 is probably a sporange of Lepidostrobus (Macrocystis) quadratus, as remarked in the description of this species.

Habitat—Not rare in the lower coal measures. Shale over the coal of Morris and Murphysborough, Ill.  Abundant at Cannelton, Penn'a and around Pittston, as seen in the collections of Mr. I. F. Mansfield and Mr. R. D. Lacoe. Some of these sporanges show the spores under the erased epidermis.
LEPIDOCYSTIS FRAXINIFORMIS, (Goepp.), Lesqx., Plate LXIX, Figs. 21-23.

Carpolithes fraxiniformis ? Goepp. & Berg., De fruct. & Sem., p. 26, P1. III, f. 33, 34.
Lesqx., Geol. of Penn'a, (1858), p. 877.

Carpolithes ? Siliqua, Daws. Dev. Pl. of Maine, Quat. Journ. Geol. Soc., 1863, p. 465, Pl. XVII, f. 4.

Sporanges inflated or bladder-like, oblong in outline, rounded or truncate at both ends.

The sporanges containing spores, as seen, Atlas f. 21, are, like the former, very variable in size, from one and a half to nearly five centimeters long, and six to ten millimeters in diameter. Their shape is generally oblong, with both extremities obtuse or truncate. That they are true sporanges is seen by the scattered spores piercing through the epidermis, Atlas f. 21.

The reference of these sporanges to Carpolithes fraxiniformis, Goepp. & Berg., l.c., is far from certain, though the species of the European authors represent evidently spore cases with a medial pedicel, thus distantly comparable to Lepidophyllum, truncatum, Atlas, Plate LXIX, f. 9.

Habitat—Abounds in a bed of subconglomerate shale below Pottsville, Penn'a, with remains of Lepidodendron. Also found by Mr. Lacoe, under the conglomerate near Pittston. I have received one specimen from Cannelton, Penn'a, by Mr. I. F. Mansfield. It is described by Prof. Dawson, from Perry County, Maine.
LEPIDOCYSTIS BULLATUS, Lesqx., Plate LXIX, Figs. 24, 24a.

Carpoltithes bullatus, Lesqx., Geol. Rept. of Ill., IV, p. 483, Pl. XXXI, f. 22-24.

Sporanges? small, half globular, irregularly wrinkled and flattened by compression.

Except that these bodies are much smaller than those described as Lepidocystis vesicularis, they have the same characters. By inference and on account of this relation, I suppose them to represent sporanges. Perhaps the following species explains their nature.

Habitat—Common at the base of the coal measures above the Millstone grit, Ill. and Penn'a.

Agglomerations of macrospores, grouped together or cohering or agglutinate by the borders, more generally without cases, and therefore of uncertain reference. Pl. LXIX, f, 13, 14.

SPOROCYSTIS PLANUS, Sp. nov., Plate LXIX, f. 15, 15a.

Spores flat, surrounded by a large border, variable in form and size, connected to each others by the angular borders, like a mosaic work.

These groups of spores are round or oval, the spores being apparently glued together by the borders or by a kind of indusium, and therefore of various forms, irregularly square or polygonal, smooth and inflated on the surface, marked with very small central They represent an agglomeration of spores like those found at the base of the Selagineae.

Habitat—Abundant under the conglomerate at Pittston; communicated by Mr. R. D. Lacoe.



Stems dichotomous; young branches carinate; rhizomes cylindrical, villous or scaly, marked with round scars points of attachment of cylindrical rootlets; leaves disposed in spiral, small or rudimentary, acicular, squarrose, open. Fructifications in small naked sporanges, spindle shaped or clavate, axillary or in pairs at the extremity of the branches.

On the plants of this genus, Schimper remarks, Paleont. Veget., III., p. 548: Notwithstanding the numerous details given by Prof. Dawson on the internal structure of these plants, their place among the vascular cryptogamous plants is not yet fixed. The circinnate vernation and the vascular scalariform tissue recall that of the Ferns; the general facies and the leaves relate the plants to some Lycopodiaceae, while the disposition and the form of the organs of fructifications have not any analogy, in the fossil or even in the living cryptogams. It is, it seems, a lost type.


Geol. Sur. of Canada, 1871, p. 37, Pl. IX-XI.
Schp. Paleont. veget., III, p. 548.

Stem erect, repeatedly dichotomous; leaves in spiral, short, squarrose, slightly turned upward or in right angle; fertile branches open, many times forked at the apex; sporanges numerous, generally geminate, pending; leaves of the fertile branches very short, scarcely discernible.

The stem of this species is comparatively large, measuring more than one centimeter in diameter. The fructifications, as figured by the author, are remarkably like those of Archaeopteris.

Habitat—The author, in Devonian Plants of Maine, Q. J. Geol. Soc., 1863, remarks that this species has been found to extend from the very bottom of the Devonian series to the upper members, in Canada and through every part of eastern America, where land plants have been found These plants belong to the oldest representatives of the land vegetation. One species is described from the Silurian Cincinnati group, in Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc. v. XVII, No. 100, p. 163.

Pl. of the Dev. Period of N.E. America, Quat. Jour. Geol. Soc., Nov. 1862, p. 316, Pl. XII. f. 8, and Pl. XVII, f. 58.

Stem covered with contiguous rhombic areoles, each with a single small scar a little above its center, and above this a very slight furrow. Decorticated stems with spiral punctiform scars in slight depressions. Bark thin, pith-cylinder very large, with transverse markings of the character of Sternbergia.

This plant seems to have presented a straight cylindrical stem, supporting leaves with thick bases, and of which only traces remain. Its bark was thin; and it seems to have had a thin woody cylinder, within which was a very large Sternbergia-pith. One specimen shows a growth of young wood at the extremity of the stem on which the rhombic scars are only imperfectly developed; and at the extremity of this younger portion the transverse structure of the pith exhibits itself through the thin bark in such a manner that this portion, if separated from the remainder of the stem, might be described as a Sternbergia. This is another peculiar phase of these remarkable, transversely wrinkled piths that seems to have belonged to so many of the carboniferous and Devonian plants. The markings on the surface of the stems of this plant somewhat resemble those of Lepidodendron tetragonum, Ulodendron minus and Lomatophloyos crassicaule, but the vascular scars and the general structure of the stem are different. I believe this plant to be more allied to Ulodendreae and Lepidodendreae, than to any other plants.

The above is entirely copied from Prof. Dawson's memoir, as this genus is, like the former, unknown to me, except from the description and figures of its author.

Habitat—Devonian measures of Maine.