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Description

Lepidodendron is an extinct genus of a primitive, vascular, arborescent (tree-like) plant related to the club mosses. They were part of the coal forest flora, occasionally reaching heights of over100 feet (30 m) with trunks over 3 feet (1 m0 The leaf scars, or leaf cushions, were composed of photosynthetic tissue. Likewise, the trunks of the plant would have been green. in diameter. The trunks rarely branched and were topped with a crown of bifurcating branches bearing clusters of blade-like leaves. The closely spaced diamond-shaped leaf scars arranged around the trunk and stems in spiraling whorls. The trunks produced little wood being made of soft tissue. Structural support came from a thick bark-like layer around the trunk surrounding a central pithy core. Lapidodendron most likely lived in the wettest parts of the coal mires throughout the Carboniferous Period (Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods), growing in dense stands.

Keywords

Lepidodendron, coal forest flora

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