Charcoalified angiosperm wood is abundant in sediments of the mid-Cretaceous Potomac Group of eastern North America and one of the most abundant wood types in these sediments is the widespread Cretaceous and Tertiary genus Paraphyllanthoxylon. Paraphyllanthoxylon marylandense sp. nov. is described from Cenomanian sediments of the Potomac Group and is found to be most similar to two mid-Cretaceous species from western North America, P. idahoense and P. utahense, and an Upper Cretaceous species from South Africa, P. capense. The abundant material of P. marylandense facilitates documentation of variability of mature wood features as well as developmental changes from first formed to later secondary xylem. Previously hypothesized systematic relationships of Paraphyllanthoxylon species are ambiguous due to similarities to several families, including: Lauraceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Anacardiaceae, Burseraceae and Euphorbiaceae. Comparisons of anatomical features between early secondary xylem of P. marylandense and xylem of the inflorescence axis of Mauldinia mirabilis clearly demonstrate that at least this Paraphyllanthoxylon species is related to the Lauraceae.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics