Albertarum pueri

General description: 


SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION: Infructescence stipitate, subglobose, about 2.0 cm in length and 2.5 cm in width. Flowers bisexual, perigoniate, about 6.0โ€“7.0 mm in diameter; tepals 6, fornicate, imbricate. Gynoecium with a trilocular ovary, one ovule per locule, placentation apical parietal or possibly mid-axial. Stylar region attenuate, about 4.0 mm in length. Seed ellipsoid, about 3.0 mm in length and 1.8โ€“2.0 mm in diameter, slightly arched. Testa about 0.25โ€“0.30 mm thick, prominently ribbed. Raphe present, inset between ribs on ventral face, extending the length of the seed.

Taxonomic Notes: 

The fossil flowers are bisexual and perigoniate. Bisexual flowers occur in subfamilies Gymnostachydoideae, Orontioideae, Pothoideae, Monsteroideae, Lasioideae, and Calloideae. In Gymnostachydoideae, Orontioideae, and Pothoideae, all genera are perigoniate. In Monsteroideae, only three genera (Spathiphyllum Schott, Holochlamys Engler, and Anadendrum Schott) have a perigone (Engler and Krause 1908). In Lasioideae, all genera except one (Pycnospatha Thorel ex Gagnepain) have a perigone. The single genus of Calloideae, Calla L., lacks a perigone (Krause 1908). The fossil is referred to subfamily Orontioideae. It is excluded from subfamily Calloideae by its perigone and from subfamilies Gymnostachydoideae, Pothoideae, Monsteroideae, and Lasioideae by the morphology of the stylar region. In those subfamilies, only some species of Spathiphyllum have a similar stylar region, but they have a cylindric rather than globose infructescence, and their seeds are not ribbed like those of the fossil (Seubert 1993). There are three extant genera in subfamily Orontioideae: Symplocarpus, Lysichiton Schott, and Orontium L. (Mayo et al. 1997). The fossil shares a few characters with each of them, but there are significant differences (Table 1); therefore, the new genus Albertarum is erected for the fossil. Albertarum is most similar to Symplocarpus (Table 1). The morphology of the stylar region is quite similar, and both have a globose to subglobose infructescence (Figs. 8, 9). Albertarum is distinguished by its trilocular ovary, however, and its ellipsoid, ribbed seeds. It also differs in the number of tepals, and the anatropous ovules.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith