Balloon Vine from The Green River Formation
Magnoliophyta, Class Magnoliopsida, Order Sapindales, Family Sapindaceae
Site: Green River Shale, Uintah County, Utah
The 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 leaf from a tree of the Sapindaceae (Soapberry) family.
The deep brown color is a fine contrast to the light shale matrix.
The extant Cardiospermum are herbaceous or woody vines common in
the West Indies, although one species is found in North America
growing from Missouri south into Mexico. The balloon vines are a
common fossil in the Green River, Florissant, and Ruby floras of
fossil plant images to enlarge