Abstract

A new Middle Permian plant assemblage from South Ash Pasture in King County, Texas, may be the youngest and is certainly the most unusual flora known from the Permian of either West Texas or adjoining north-central Texas. Found serendipitously in the evaporite-rich upper Blaine Formation (Pease River Group, Guadalupian Series), the flora is of very low diversity despite intensive collecting efforts, and the affinities of nearly all taxa are enigmatic. The most common elements are parallel-veined leaves that resemble cordaites but that could be isolated pinnules of a pinnate leaf. Gigantopterid foliage is present but not assignable to any known taxon. A single foliar conifer specimen is too incomplete for assignment. Numerous reproductive organs, however, and an abundance of axes may represent conifers. Conchostracans, palaeoniscoid fish scales, and small heteropolar coprolites also occur in the deposit, which originated as a small, claystone-dominated channel fill in a coastal plain setting.

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