Cretaceous flowers of Ericales

Cretaceous flowers of Ericales

Cretaceous flowers of Ericales

The rapid increase in knowledge of the fossil record of angiosperms in the past 30 years has provided important evidence on the antiquity of different lineages. Schönenberger et al. add to the fossil record of asterids with the description of an exceptionally well-preserved flower from Georgia, USA, from the Late Cretaceous named here as Glandulocalyx upatoiensis. The fossil is preserved as charcoal and investigations by standard scanning electron microscopy, as well as synchrotron-radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy, have made it possible to describe the flower in great detail. Morphological characterization of the fossil indicates a relationship to core Ericales and specifically to extant Actinidiaceae and Clethraceae.