Stockey, Ruth A. , Gemmell, Jennifer L. .
A spicate inflorescence from the Eocene of Vancouver Island.
One partial, permineralized inflorescence, 37 mm long and 8 mm wide has been found in a calcareous concretion from the Eocene Appian Way locality on Vancouver Island. This specimen was studied using the cellulose acetate peel technique and flowers reconstructed with AMIRA 3.1.1 visualization software. The inflorescence is a spike with a pedicel 14.5 mm long that bears numerous, helically arranged, bisexual, sessile flowers with hooded tepals. There are three fused carpels per flower, each bearing a single small ovule. Remnants of probable stamens are present outside the carpels, however, the inflorescence has undergone some abrasion prior to fossilization and was probably senescent at the time of preservation. Some pollen is seen among the perianth parts of several flowers, but may have been trapped there, as no intact anthers have been identified. Flower structure is compared to those of other petalloid, spicate, bisexual flowers in the monocot families Acoraceae and Araceae (Alismatales). Number of carpels is similar to Acorus (Acoraceae) and Spathiphyllum (Araceae, Monsteroideae), while the number of seeds per locule differs from these two taxa. Single-seeded ovaries are common in Araceae, while those of Acorus contain several seeds. These inflorescences appear to represent a new taxon of Alismatales, and most probably represent an aroid spadix.
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1 - University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, Biological Sciences Centre, Cw 405, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada
2 - University of Ablerta, Department of Biological Sciences
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 2:15 PM