The fossil flower Tropidogyne pikei Chambers, Poinar & R. T. Buckley, previously described from Burmese amber has five spreading, epigynous sepals with five major veins and branched, anastomosing veinlets. On top of the inferior ovary is a broad, flat nectar gland from which project three short, arched styles (Chambers et al. 2010). The present paper describes the flowers of another species of this genus, T. pentaptera sp. nov., based on seven separate specimens from the same amber bed. The new species has spreading, veiny sepals, a nectar disc, and a ribbed inferior ovary like T. pikei, but differs in being bicarpellate, with two elongate, slender styles, and in the ribs of its inferior ovary lacking darkly pigmented terminal glands. A relationship of these fossils to the family Cunoniaceae is proposed, in particular to Ceratopetalum D. Don, an extant Southern Hemisphere genus known from fossils of the Tertiary Period.
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Vol. 10 • No. 1