Green River Formation Plant Fossils Association

Kingdom Plantae - Family: Anacardiaceae: Astronium sp. Leguminosae: Erythrina roanensis and Leguminosies (?) sp Araliaceae; Oropanax elongatum

Geological Time: Eocene

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Astronium: 14 mm Erythrina: 35 mm by 20 mm Legume indet; 26 mm by 10 mm Oreopanax: 95 mm by 25 mm Matrix: 140 mm by 135 mm

Fossil Site: Green River Formation, Uintah County, utah

Plant FossilsThe 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 fine flower is 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 two smaller leaves belong to members of the Leguminosae, or legumes, known as Eythrina raoanensis and one that may be from the genus Leguminosites. While most legumes are shrubs, members of the genus Erythrina are known as coral trees by virtue of the rich color of their flowers. The largest leaf comes from a member of the Araliaceae, or Aralias, known as Oreopanax. The Araliaceae is also commonly termed the Ivy family.

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