Skip to content
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Part of a frond of Sphenopteris sp. (S143607) from the Carboniferous-Permian of China. Photo: Anna Lindström

Carboniferous and Permian plants of China

The Paleobiology Department houses a very large collection of Carboniferous and Permian fossil plants from China. Over 22,000 specimens from 14 provinces are registered in the database, around 20,000 specimens are identified to genus and over 5,000 to species.

Palaeozoic plants

In 1927, Prof. Thore G. Halle published a major monograph “Palaeozoic Plants from Central Shansi", which represented one of the most important studies on the Chinese Permian floras and includes the type specimens of many species.

The Chinese Carboniferous-Permian floras are rich in sphenopsids, ferns, Tingiales, Noeggerathiales, Medullosales, early Ginkgoales and conifers, Gigantopteridales, and a range of plant groups with obscure affinities. These plants, represented mostly by fossil leaves, are also associated with numerous fertile organs and have vegetative adaptations that help paleobotanists understand the reproductive biology and ecology of the late Paleozoic wet-tropical floras of east Asia.

Some of these broad-leafed plants had liana-like adaptations and formed some of the Earth’s earliest rainforest (closed-forest) communities, long before the appearance of angiosperm-dominated rainforests in the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic.

Pictures from the collection:

Närbild av ett fossiliserat löv. Lövet är beige, med en ljusare bakgrund. Lövet har svarta små prickar.

Close up of leaf from the seed fern Alethopteris norinii (S138182) from Chen-chia-yü, Shanxi. Collected by E. Norin in 1921. Photo: Anna Lindström.

Beige fossil på grå sten. Fossilen har flera blad.

Lobatannularia sp. (S143799b) from Chao-chia-kou. Shanxi. Photo: Anna Lindström

Fossil på sten. Fossilet har flera blad.

Fossil seed fern Pecopteridium sp. (S143148) from Hei-tu-po, Shanxi. Photo: Anna Lindström

Page updated:

Page manager: Anna Lindström