Horsetails and seed ferns from the middle Triassic (Anisian) locality Kühwiesenkopf

Evelyn Kustatscher, Michael Wachtler & Johanna H.A. van Konijnenburg-van Cittert

Well‐preserved floras from the Alpine Early–Middle Triassic are rare, and thus our understanding of the vegetation in this area during this period of time continues to be incomplete. As a result, every new find represents a significant piece of information that deserves thoughtful consideration. Anisian (Middle Triassic) sphenophytes and pteridosperms have recently been recovered from the Kühwiesenkopf locality (Monte Prà della Vacca) in northern Italy. The sphenophytes are represented by stem fragments, strobili and isolated sporangiophore heads of Equisetites, as well as by a few specimens of Neocalamites sp. and Echinostachys sp. The pteridosperms include abundant remains of the peltasperm foliage type Scytophyllum bergeri. A second Scytophyllum species in this flora, S. apoldense, is regarded as conspecific with S. bergeri based on epidermal anatomy; the two morphotypes are interpreted as sun and shade leaves of a single biological species. The seed‐bearing disc Peltaspermum bornemannii sp. nov. probably represents the female reproductive structure of S. bergeri. Additional pteridosperm remains include foliage assignable to Sagenopteris sp. and Ptilozamites sp., in both cases perhaps the earliest records of these genera.

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