The Eocene mystery flower of McAbee, British Columbia

Steven R. Manchester, Kathleen Pigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A distinctive, extinct type of flower and fruit is described based on coalified compression and impression fossils from the Eocene lake bed deposits of McAbee, British Columbia. Dillhoffia cachensis gen. et sp.nov. has an elongateellipsoidal fruit with an epigynous, completely connate funnelform calyx 1.8-2.9 cm in diameter, with an unlobed, orbicular margin. The fruit narrows apically into a single style divided into four slightly recurved stigmatic arms. Fruits are pedicellate, borne in globose heads. Stamens, pollen, and internal fruit morphology remain unknown, but the available details of gynoecial and perianth morphology present a suite of characters not encountered in any known extant genus, and the familial affinities remain uncertain. This is noteworthy, because many other elements of the same Eocene flora represent extant genera with clear familial assignments such as Cunninghamia, Ginkgo, Aesculus, Alnus, Betula, Dipteronia, Fagus, Trochodendron, and Ulmus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1034-1038
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • British columbia
  • Eocene
  • Flower
  • Fruit
  • McAbee
  • Paleobotany

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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