J Syst Evol ›› 2021, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (5): 1100-1110.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12577

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Early Oligocene fruits and leaves of Burretiodendron (Malvaceae s.l.) from South China

Sheng‐Lan Xu1, Tatiana M. Kodrul2, Yan Wu1, Natalia P. Maslova3, and Jian‐Hua Jin1*   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat‐sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2 Geological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119017, Russia
    3 Borissiak Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117997, Russia
  • Received:2019-09-23 Accepted:2020-02-18 Online:2020-02-21 Published:2021-09-01

Abstract: The genus Burretiodendron Rehder is currently endemic to an area near the China–Vietnam border and the limestone mountains of Thailand and Myanmar. The fossil records of this genus were previously found only from the Miocene of Yunnan, Southwest China, and the Oligocene of Guangxi, South China. Here, we describe fossil fruits and associated leaves of Burretiodendron, which were discovered in the lower Oligocene Shangcun Formation of the Maoming Basin, Guangdong, South China. Morphological comparison with extant and fossil Burretiodendron taxa indicates that fruit fossils belong to the species Burretiodendron parvifructum J. Lebreton Anberrée & Z. K. Zhou. This is one of the earliest fossil records of the genus, providing additional evidence for the early biogeographic history of this genus and supporting the inference that the genus originated in South China. According to the habitat conditions of modern species, we speculate that there were limestone mountains around the Maoming Basin in the early Oligocene.

Key words: Burretiodendron, early Oligocene, limestone mountains, mericarp, South China