Lauraceous fossil flower from the Kamikitaba locality (Lower Coniacian; Upper Cretaceous) in northeastern Japan

Masamichi Takahashi*, Patrick S. Herendeen, Peter R. Crane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A well preserved fossil flower that is lignitized and that also has three-dimensional structure has been recovered from the Kamikitaba Assemblage (ca. 89 MYBP, Lower Coniacian, Upper Cretaceous) of the Futaba Group (Asamigawa Member, Ashizawa Formation) in northeastern Japan. The small flower is 1.7 mm in diameter and consists of two alternating whorls of three tepals, nine stamens in three alternating trimerous whorls, and a possible aborted gynoecium. The tepals have well-developed hairs on their adaxial surface. The anthers are tetrasporangiate and tetrathecal, with valves covered by flaps that open from the base upwards. Anthers of the two outer androecial whorls are introrse, while the anthers of the inner whorl are latrorse to extrorse. Stamens of all three whorls do not appear to bear glandular appendages near the base of the filaments. The gynoecium is absent or poorly developed. The fossil flower, Lauranthus futabensis, gen. et sp. nov. is assigned to the Lauraceae based on the regular trimerous organization of the perianth and androecium, and the valvate anthers. It provides the first detailed report of lauraceous flowers from the Cretaceous of Asia and adds significantly to our knowledge of the geographic distribution of Cretaceous Lauraceae and their systematic and structural diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-434
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2001


  • Asamigawa member
  • Coniacian
  • Cretaceous
  • Fossil flower
  • Futaba group
  • Japan
  • Kamikitaba assemblage
  • Lauraceae
  • Mesofossils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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