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Form taxon (botany): Wikis

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It is often not possible to associate the wood, leaf, flower, fruit and pollen of a fossil plant with each other, as fossil plants are usually found as disarticulated parts, and the individual parts are often insuffucient for identification, particularly for older material which is less closely related to modern representatives, and may be less well preserved. Consequently paleobotanists used form taxa to name the fossil parts of plants where identification with a complete plant, whether living, or a reconstructed fossil, is not possible.

The part of the plant is often, but not universally, indicated by the use of a suffix in the generic name; thus wood fossils may have generic names ending in -xylon, leaf fossils generic names ending in -phyllum, fruit fossils generic names ending in -carpon, -carpum or -carpus, and pollen fossils generic names ending in -pollis or pollenoides.


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