Portion of Lepidodendron

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This illustration shows a portion of Lepidodendron. Lepidodendron is the generic name of a large and important group of plants which flourished principally in the Carboniferous period. The outer surface of the bark is marked by lozenge-shaped, scale-like markings, the leaf-cushions. These are arranged in dense spirals, which wind around the stems. Often, the narrow and pointed leaves are found, still adherent; they may also carry cones (lepidostrobi), which in form somewhat resemble those of the fir. The branches usually fork repeatedly, and were implanted on a massive stem which had a similar external sculpture. Some of these stems have been seen in the roofs of coal workings with a length of a hundred feet. Their roots are generally known as stigmaria. The Lepidodendra belonged to the Lycopodiaceæ, and have their nearest representatives in the diminutive club-mosses, which they resemble even in their superficial characters.


John H. Finley ed. Nelson's Perpetual Loose-Leaf Encyclopaedia (vol. 7) (New York, NY: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1917) 283


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