Lepidodendrales †

Scale Trees

  • Ecology and Form
    • arborescence in extinct taxa 
    • inhabited late Paleozoic swamps
  • Stems (e.gLepidodendron, Sigillaria)
    • Pseudo-bipolar growth
      • root decays early in development and a "branch" becomes the "root" or rhizophore
    • Large amount of bark 
      • major support structure
    • Unifacial (one-faced) cambium
      • small amount of secondary xylem (wood)
      • no secondary phloem
        • sugars from photosynthesis could not be transported to rhizophore
  • Leaves (Lepidophylloides)
    • Microphylls or lycophylls
      • very long; up to 14" long
    • Spiral phyllotaxy shown in leaf scars on bark
  • Roots
    • No true roots
    • Rhizome-like stem called rhizophore (Stigmaria) acts like roots
    • Modified leaves  acts like secondary roots to absorb water minerals
    • rhizophore has rhizotaxis due to leaves growing in an apical fashion
  • Reproductive Structures
    • Sporangia
    • Heterosporous
    • Endosporic development
      • female gametophyte is not free-living
      • seed-like
    • Possibly monocarpic (reproduce once and then die)


Superkingdom Archaeplastida - plants + algal relatives
   Kingdom Plantae - "plants"
      Subkingdom Embryophyta - land plants
         Phylum Lycopodiophyta- club-mosses and their allies
            Class Lycopsida
               Order Lepidodendrales

  • Sigillaria: upright stem with bark
  • Lepidodendron: upright stem with bark
  • Lepidophylloides: leaves (microphylls) 
  • Stigmaria: root-like rhizophore (modified rhizome-like stem that anchors and absorbs water/minerals)
  • Lepidostrobophyllum: sporophyll (leaf protecting sporangia)
  • Lepidocarpon: female cone (contains megaspores) 
  • Cystosporites: megaspores, which will produce female gametophytes
  • Lepidostrobus: male cones (contains microspores) 
  • Lycospora: microspore, which will produce male gametophytes