Plant fossils were first recorded in Indiana by David Dale Owen in l843. Lesquereux's "Description of the Coal Flora of the Carboniferous Formation in Pennsylvania and Throughout the United States," published in 1880, listed 54 fossil plants from Indiana, and David White in 1896 identified 19 specimens from the whetstone beds of Orange County. Very little paleobotanical work has been done since then. Stems, leaves, and cones of lycopsids and sphenopsids are common in the rocks associated with the coal beds of southwestern Indiana, and the seed ferns and Cordaitales are also found there. Fernlike foliage is abundant in the shales, and therefore a key to identify the common genera of fernlike leaves has been prepared for the lay reader. The fossil plants found in southwestern Indiana at 93 collecting sites comprise 146 species assignable to 68 genera.
Canright, J. E., 1959, Fossil plants of Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Report of Progress 14, 45 p., 3 figs., 3 tables, 5 pl.
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