Three types of fossil flowers and fruits are described from the upper Santonian (Upper Cretaceous) Buffalo Creek Member of the Gaillard Formation in central Georgia, USA. The pollen of each of these new types is known from the palynological record and can be assigned to the Normapolles group, a morphologically diverse complex of angiosperm pollen characteristic of the Upper Cretaceous of eastern North America and Europe. The fossils presented here are the first known Normapolles-producing floral structures to be described from North America. One type is similar to the European species Caryanthus knoblochii whereas a second (Bedellia pusilla Sims et al., gen. et sp. nov.) is established as a new genus and species. The third flower type is described but not named due to lack of sufficient morphological detail. Together, the North American and European genera support previous interpretations that some members of the Normapolles complex are closely related to families within the 'higher' hamamelids (especially Juglandaceae, Rhoipteleaceae, Myricaceae, and Betulaceae).
- Fossil flowers
- North America
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics