Reconstruction of some Lepidodendrons
Lepidodendron ("scale tree") was a tree-like plant related to modern lycopsids that existed in the Carboniferous period.
Description[edit | edit source]
Lepidodendron was a large plant, reaching heights in excess of 30 meters. The trunks often measured a meter or more in diameter, and rarely branched. Lepidodendron bark resembled scales, giving the plant its name, and it was often mistaken for petrified reptile skin in the 19th century. All of the foliage was concentrated at the top of the plant, and the leaves were long and thin.
Classification[edit | edit source]
Instead of being a true club moss as often cited, Lepidodendron was actually more closely related to today's quillworts. About 150 species exist today.
Paleobiology[edit | edit source]
Lepidodendron did not produce true seeds; rather, they reproduced by means of spores. Plants grew quickly, and on average they lived for 10 to 15 years.
References[edit | edit source]
- "Plant fossils of the British Coal Measures" by Christopher J.Cleal and Barry A.Thomas, publ. The Palaeontological Association, London, 1994, 222 pages, ISBN 0-901702-53-6.
- Davis, Paul; Kenrick, Paul (2004). Fossil Plants. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books. ISBN 1-58834-181-X.
- Taylor, W. Carl; Neil T. Luebke; Donald M. Britton; R. James Hickey; & Daniel F. Brunton (1993). "Isoëtaceae". Flora of North America. 2. Oxford University Press. p. 64.
- Morran, Robin C. (2004). A Natural History of Ferns. Portland: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-667-1.