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The Early History of the Land Flora1

Nature volume 110, pages 638640 (11 November 1922) | Download Citation



II. W HEN we reach the Upper Devonian flora we find ourselves in the midst of a comparatively familiar vegetation. A few of the early forms may have survived, but the bulk of the plants were highly organised Vascular Cryptogams or Spermophytes. While in the Early Devonian no true Ferns have been found, a branched, naked rachis being the nearest approach to a frond, the later vegetation has been called the Archoeopteris flora, after the magnificent ferns or fern-like plants of that genus, of which the famous A. hibernica is the type. We do not, however, know for certain whether these fine plants were really Ferns, or fern-like seed-plants. The presence of true Ferns is more surely attested by Dawson's Asteropteris, from the State of New York, which has the structure of a Zygopterid, a group well known from Carboniferous rocks. Lycopods had attained a very high development, as shown especially by the genus Bothrodendron, of which the large heterosporous cones are known.

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