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Am J Bot. 2008 Jan;95(1):77-83. doi: 10.3732/ajb.95.1.77.

Phytolaccaceae infructescence from Cerro del Pueblo Formation, Upper Cretaceous (late Campanian), Coahuila, Mexico.

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Departamento de Paleontología, Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Circuito de la Investigación Científica, Del. Coyoacán 04510 México D.F.


The Upper Cretaceous (late Campanian) Cerro del Pueblo Formation, Coahuila, Mexico, contains a diverse group of angiosperms represented mainly by their reproductive structures. Among these, a new permineralized infructescence is recognized based on its morphological and anatomical characters. It is a multiple infructescence composed of berry fruits with six locules, each containing a single seed with a curved embryo developed from a campylotropous ovule with pendulous placentation; integumentary anatomy is similar to that of Phytolacca spp. (Phytolaccaceae). Though this new plant from Coahuila shares reproductive characters with Phytolacca, the constant number (six) of carpels per fruit and pendulous placentation strongly support the recognition of a new taxon, Coahuilacarpon phytolaccoides Cevallos-Ferriz, Estrada-Ruiz, et Pérez-Hernández (Phytolaccaceae, Caryophyllales). This new record adds to the known plant diversity of low latitude North America (northern Mexico) and demonstrates the long geologic history of the group.

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