Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The earliest seeds

January 1, 1981

Lagenostomalean-type seeds in bifurcating cupule systems have been discovered in the late Devonian Hampshire Formation of Randolph County, West Virginia, USA (Fig. 1). The associated megaflora, plants from coal balls, and vertebrate and invertebrate faunas demonstrate that the material is Famennian; the microflora indicates a more specific Fa2c age. Consequently, these seeds predate Archaeosperma arnoldii1 from the Fa2d of northeastern Pennsylvania, the oldest previously reported seed. By applying precision fracture, transfer, de??gagement, and thin-section techniques to selected cupules from the more than 100 specimens on hand, we have determined the three-dimensional morphology and histology of the seeds (Fig. 2a-h, k) and cupule systems. A comparison with known late Devonian to early Carboniferous seeds reveals that ours are more primitively organized than all except Genomosperma2,3. ?? 1981 Nature Publishing Group.

Publication Year 1981
Title The earliest seeds
DOI 10.1038/293462a0
Authors W. H. Gillespie, G.W. Rothwell, S.E. Scheckler
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Nature
Index ID 70011711
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse