Lower Eocene and Paleocene Gentianaceae: Floral and Palynological Evidence

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Science  02 Oct 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4516, pp. 75-77
DOI: 10.1126/science.214.4516.75


Lower Eocene flowers with Pistillipollenites macgregorii pollen represent the earliest megafossil evidence of the Gentianaceae. The Paleocene occurrence of P. macgregorii, the fossil's modern floral structure, and suggested trends in the evolution of pollen in the Gentianaceae indicate a considerably earlier origin for the family. Floral morphology typical of bee-pollinated flowers provides the earliest, albeit indirect, fossil evidence of bees.