Astronium Flower and Erythrina Coral Tree Plant Fossil Association

Family: Anacardiaceae: Astronium sp. Leguminosae: Erythrina roanensis

Geological Time: Middle Eocene

Size: Astronium: 12 mm Erythrina: 35 mm by 20 mm Matrix: 80 mm by 60 mm

Fossil Site: Green River Formation, Uintah County, Utah

Erythrina FlowerThe Green River Formation deposits of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah are best known for their immaculately-preserved fish, but other examples are known as well, as this specimen attests. This is an example of a fine flower known Astronium of the family Anacardiaceae whose extant members include the cashew, mango, and smoke tree. The stamen is clearly visible, and the flower has numerous comose (tuft like) seeds in strong contrast to the matrix. The leaf belongs to a member of the Leguminosae, or legumes, known as Eythrina roanensis. While most legumes are shrubs, members of the genus Erythrina are known as coral trees by virtue of the rich color of their flowers. This is a fine asscociation plaque of 2 very dissimilar plants.

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