Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract New chloranthaceous floral structures from the Late Cretaceous (Late Santonian/Early Campanian) of Scania, southern Sweden, have provided important new information on theChloranthistemon plants. The material includes well preserved fragments of inflorescence axes with flowers in situ documenting thatChloranthistemon flowers were bisexual and closely resembled those of extantChloranthus (Chloranthaceae). An emended diagnosis is given for the type species of the genus,Chloranthistemon endressii, and a new species,C. alatus, is described. The flowers ofChloranthistemon are small, perianthless and strongly zygomorphic, consisting of a tripartite and broadened androecium borne in an abaxial to lateral position on the monocarpellate ovary, and arranged in the axils of decussate bracts. Stamens are either completely free (C. alatus), or free at the base and coherent at the apex (C. endressii). The apical connective is extensive in both species; elaborated into conspicuous wing-like structures inC. alatus, or into a massive and shield-like structure inC. endressii. Pollen grains ofC. endressii are spheroidal, and reticulate and spiraperturate, while those ofC. alatus are ellipsoidal, tectate and foveolate with a unique combination of a distal colpus and a proximal furrow (colpus?) perpendicular to each other. Ovaries observed in well preserved flowers of both species are small and undifferentiated. Larger, dispersed fruits of chloranthaceous affinity are abundant and distinct, and probably represent at least two or three species, but cannot be linked with certainty to any of theChloranthistemon species described here.
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