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Temporal range: Middle Devonian
Eospermatopteris erianus.jpg
Wattezia roots
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Cladoxylopsida
Order: Pseudosporochnales
Genus: Wattieza

Wattieza is the earliest known tree.[1]

Their fossils were found in New York State. They stood 8 m (34 ft) or more tall, and looked like the modern tree ferns.[2]

They lived in the mid-Devonian, about 385 million years ago. They were cladoxylopsids, close relatives of modern ferns and horsetails.

The crown of Wattieza, discovered in 2005, was united with its root and trunk, known since 1870. The fossilized grove of "Gilboa stumps" had been described as Eospermatopteris, though the complete plant remained unknown.

Wattieza had fronds rather than leaves,[3] and reproduced with spores.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Michelle Carr, Cosmos 2007. Wattieza is world's oldest tree. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stein W.E. et al 2007. "Giant cladoxylopsid trees resolve the enigma of the Earth's earliest forest stumps at Gilboa", Nature 446:904-907.
  3. Meyer-Berthaud B. & Decombeix A.L. 2007. "Palaeobotany: A tree without leaves". Nature 446 (7138): 861–862. doi:10.1038/446861a. PMID 17443169.