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Picea wolfei, a New Species of Petrified Cone from the Miocene of Northwestern Nevada

David R. Crabtree
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 70, No. 9 (Oct., 1983), pp. 1356-1364
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2443426
Page Count: 9
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Picea wolfei, a New Species of Petrified Cone from the Miocene of Northwestern Nevada
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Abstract

Several silicified ovulate cones from the late middle Miocene (Barstovian) represent a new species, Picea wolfei Crabtree. This is the second species of Picea for which structurally preserved seed cones are known to be reported from the Tertiary. The cones are 5.0-8.0 cm long and 1.52.0 cm at their greatest diameter. Ovuliferous scales are inserted helically around the cone axis and are recurved at their point of divergence. Each scale is broadly obovate to spatulate with a rounded apex and bore two seeds adaxially. The bract subtending the scale is 4.5-7.3 mm long and is fused to the scale for 1.4-2.0 mm. Each bract has an inflated keel-like base which projects abaxially between the seeds of adjacent scales. The fossil cones superficially resemble those of the extant Picea breweriana, yet differ from them anatomically. The new species also resembles Picea lahontense, a fossil compression from the Miocene Trout Creek Flora of southcentral Oregon, but the different modes of preservation preclude meaningful comparison. Picea diettertiana, the only structurally preserved fossil cone of this genus previously described, is quite dissimilar in that it lacks a sclerotic pith.

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