Mihai's Paleobotany Chronicles

Phlebopteris woodwardii LECKENBY 1864

1864 Phlebopteris woodwardi LECKENBY, p. 81, Pl. 8 fig.6
1961 Phlebopteris woodwardii HARRIS, p. 106, Text-fig. 35.
1997 Phlebopteris woodwardii POPA, p. 142, Text-fig. 15-18, Pl. I, fig.5, 6.
1999 Phlebopteris woodwardii POPA and VAN KONIJNENBURG-VAN CITTERT, p. 181-182, Pl. 1, Figs. 1-6, Pl. 2, Fig. 4.


Short description
The pinna rachis isnarrow, ribbed longitudinally, but the rachis sometimes looks smooth, probably related to the adaxial or abaxial view. The pinnules are oppositely inserted to the pinna rachis, with their whole base, perpendicularly or at 80 degree; they are lanceolate in shape. The basal part of the pinnules is slightly constricted. The actual pinna bases are slightly widened again and are connected by a narrow basal lamina. The margins are parallel and they become slightly convergent through the last third of the pinnules length, towards the apex. The apex is acutely rounded. The secondary veins arise at angles of 70-90 degree to the midrib and fork at least twice. In fertile pinnules the main vein branches arch around the sori. In all cases, the tertiary veins are obliquely oriented with respect to the midrib. The sorus is rounded, situated towards the midrib, with rounded, central placenta. The sporangia are rounded, with a distinct annulus. The extracted spores are, trilete, triangular, with rounded apices. The laesurae are straight and extend ca. 2/3 of the spore radius. The exine is smooth, without apparent ornamentation. No perispores have been observed, with proximal and distal surfaces uniform in ornamentation.

Some taxonomical affinities of the material may be present in respect to P. affinis species. But in P. affinis the secondary veins usually fork only once, and the primary arch is flattened and bears the sorus, while in P. woodwardii it is raised and encloses the sorus.

P. woodwardii is a common species in Ponor SSSI, but also it occurs in the northen Anina coalfields, such as Pit 1. It has been recorded from Europe.

In Anina, P. woodwardii is Hettangian-Sinemurian in age, crossing the Hettangian/Sinemurian boundary. In Europe, P. woodwardii ranges between Lower Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous.

Marsh edges, flood plains and levees.

The material is very well preserved, with in situ spores.

Harris, T.M., 1961. The Yorkshire Jurassic Flora. Part 1: Thallophyta and Pteridophyta, 1. British Museum (Natural History), London, 212 pp.

Popa, M.E., 1997. Liassic ferns from the Steierdorf Formation, Anina, Romania, 4th European Palaeobotanical and Palynological Conference. Mededelingen Nederlands Instituut voor Toegepaste Geowetenschappen TNO, Heerlen, pp. 139-148.

Popa, M.E. and Van Konijnenburg - Van Cittert, J.H.A., 1999. Aspects of Romanian Early Jurassic palaeobotany and palynology. Part I. In situ spores from the Getic Nappe, Banat, Romania, 5th EPPC. Acta Palaeobotanica. W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Krakow, pp. 181-195.

Phlebopteris woodwardii, sample P40/C2/S4b/3, Popa collection, Ponor SSSI, base of bed 4, Sinemurian.