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Title: Wattieza  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cladoxylopsida, Prototaxites, Plant taxonomy, Evolution of plants, Devonian
Collection: Devonian Life, Middle Devonian Plants, Plant Taxonomy, Prehistoric Plants
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Temporal range: Middle Devonian
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Cladoxylopsida
Order: Pseudosporochnales
Genus: Wattieza

Wattieza was a genus of prehistoric trees that existed in the mid-Devonian that belong to the cladoxylopsids, close relatives of the modern ferns and horsetails. The 2005 (publicly revealed in 2007) discovery in Schoharie County, New York, of fossils from the Middle Devonian (about 385 million years ago) united the crown of Wattieza to a root and trunk known since 1870, the fossilized grove of "Gilboa stumps" discovered at Gilboa, New York, which had been previously described as Eospermatopteris, though the complete plant remained unknown. These fossils have been described as the earliest known trees, standing 8 m (34 ft) or more tall, resembling the unrelated modern tree fern.[1]

Wattieza had fronds rather than leaves,[2] and reproduced with spores.[1]


  1. ^ a b Stein, W. E., F. Mannolini, L. V. Hernick, E. Landling, and C. M. Berry. 2007. "Giant cladoxylopsid trees resolve the enigma of the Earth's earliest forest stumps at Gilboa", Nature (19 April 2007) 446:904-907.
  2. ^ Meyer-berthaud, B.; Decombeix, A.L. (2007). "Palaeobotany: A tree without leaves". Nature 446 (7138): 861–862.  
  • Paleobiology Database accessed 19 April 2007
  • "Oldest tree had fronds, not leaves". Article on
  • ) Michelle Carr, "Wattieza is world's oldest tree"Cosmos( 19 April 2007
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