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Paleobotanical Section

Wang, Qi [2], Zhu, Xiang-Yun [2], Dilcher, David [1].

Wisteria Fruits from the Middle Miocene Shanwang Flora of China.

About 8 living species of the genus Wisteria Nutt. (Fabaceae) are distributed in temperate region of eastern Asia and North America. 4 leaflet fossils previously described as Sophora (?) fallax by Nathorst in 1883 from the Pliocene of Japan were referred to Wisteria fallax by Tanai and Onoe in 1961, which included both leaflet and pod fossils from Middle Miocene to Late Pliocene floras of Japan. Leaflet Sophora fallax described by Hu and Chaney in 1940 from Miocene Shanwang flora of China was transferred to W. fallax by subsequent authors. Furthermore, Wisteria aff. fallx, W. ligniata, and W. sichote-alinensis were respectively documented from Tertiary floras of Czechoslovakia, Japan and Russia. Here, we report at first 3 Wisteria fruits from Middle Miocene Shanwang flora of Shandong, eastern China. These Wisteria fruits having evident constrictions between the seed-bearing segments are comparatively complete, about 11.0-15.5 cm long and 0.8-1.8 cm wide, with apical beaks and tapered bases. The pedicels are not preserved. Round seed impressions with a very short funiculus, about 7 mm in diameter, is exposed to associate with one seam in one fruit. Present Wisteria fruits are different from Japanese fossil pod W. floribunda DC. (assigned to W. fallax by Tanai in 1961) in forming distinctive loments, but similar to another Japanese fossil pod W. ligniata (2 cm wide). Due to lacking the organic connections between pods and leaflets, it is unwise to assign present fossil fruits to the coeval leaflet W. fallax in Shanwang flora. Morphologically, their features show considerable revelence to living Wisteria species from China. However, it is precocious to classify them into a living taxon. Wisteria fruit and leaflet fossils widely discovered in Miocene floras of eastern Asia suggest that this region might have been an initial diversified center of this genus by the Miocene.

1 - University of Florida, Department of Natural History, Florida Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 117800, Gainesville, Florida, 32611-7800, USA
2 - Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany and Herbarium, 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing, 100093, China

fossil fruits

Presentation Type: Paper
Session: 36-5
Location: Maybird (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 3:00 PM
Abstract ID:792

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