D is for……..

Dicroidium
An extinct family of seed ferns (a group of plants somewhere between a fern and a cycad) that existed during the Triassic (about 200 million years ago).
Dicroidium are also known as fork leaved seed fern due to the fern like fronds having a obvious fork. Male and female plants were believed initially to be separate species.
They inhabited what was at the time the supercontinent Gondwana.

C is for…….

Chloranthaceae
A group of about 70 plants both extant (surviving to this day) and extinct. They have a microfossil (very small fossils, in this case pollen) record dating back to the Hauterivian period of the lower Cretaceous (about 130 million years ago). Scientists have found it difficult to place them in a family with any of the other flowering plants and believe them to be a sister group to some of the earliest evolving flowering plants. We have 2 species in the fossil garden Chloranthus japonica and C. Oldhamii.

B is for……

Bennettitales
A group of Cycad like plants that existed from around 250 million years ago until the uppermost cretaceous (about 70 million years ago).
Scientists believe they may be a sister group to the Angiosperms (flowering plants) instead of being gymnosperms (non flowering) like the Cycads they resemble.

A prehistoric plant alphabet!

So after recently having had a very short conversation on Twitter about a dinosaur alphabet I have decided to to produce a alphabet of ancient plants. Some will be plants that are extinct, some plants that are still around today, some I have probably even got growing in my garden.
So here is the first letter…
A is for……
Archaefructus

A group of 3 aquatic angiosperm (flowering plant) species known from fossils dating to about 125 million years old. It’s now extinct but paleobotanists believe, because of the way its flowers were laid out, it represents a new basal (early) group of flowering plants.