Rare Sassafras Plant Fossils Association From Cache Creek

Sassafras hesperia and Vitis sp.

Division: Magnoliophyta; Class: Magnoliopsida; Order: Laurales; Family: Lauraceae; Genus: Sassafras

Division: Magnoliophyta; Class: Magnoliopsida; Order: Vitales; Family: Vitaceae; Genus: Vitis

Geological Time: Early Middle Eocene

Size: Sassafras: 43 mm by 58 mm Vitis: 35 mm by 48 mm

Fossil Site: McAbee Fossil Beds, Tranquille Shale, Cache Creek, British Columbia, Canada

Description: This plaque displays a pair of less common examples from the lacustrine deposits of the McAbee Flora of the Eocene of British Columbia, Canada with fine preservational details. The region was dominated by a shallow lake. Plant matter which fell into the water was covered with a fine layer of silt which built up over the years as a result of deposition of diatoms which bloomed in the lake each spring and died in the summer. This is a fine example of the preservation for which this biota is known. The Sassafras is a member of the Lauraceae or Laurel Family, while Vitis is a member of the Vitaceae or grapes. As such is a most uncommon member of the flora. The deeper brown color of the plant matter contrasts well with the lighter matrix, bringing out the detail.

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