Fossil Leaves From La Porte Hydraulic Gold Mine

Sierra Nevada, California

Top to bottom--Fossil leaves from the upper Eocene La Porte Tuff, secured from an abandoned hydraulic gold mine in the vicinity of La Porte, Sierra Nevada, California. Top--Cinnamonum acrodromum: The Eocene counterpart of the extant Cinnamonum mercadoi--common name Kalingag, a small evergreen tree that is native solely to the Philippines. Usually grows at elevations of 980 to 2,300 feet, but can ascend to an altitude of about 6,600 feet.

Middle--Cissampelos rotundifolia: The Eocene analog of the living Cissampelos pareira, whose common name is Velvet-leaf (also known as Velvetleaf or Abuta), a climbing vine native to Aldabra, Andaman Is., Argentina, Aruba, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Borneo, Brazil North, Brazil, Cayman Is., China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Florida, French Guiana, Galápagos, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Madagascar, Maluku, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Netherlands Antilles, New Guinea, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Réunion, Somalia, Southwest Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, West Himalaya, Windward Is., and Zimbabwe.

Bottom--Leguminosites falcatum: The Eocene equivalent of the living Prioria copaifera, an evergreen tree that can grow to 164 feet high. It ranges from Nicaragua to Colombia (also occurs in Jamaica), preferring tidal estuaries in the vicinity of the mangrove fringe.

Photographs courtesy Susan S. Potbury, from her publication The La Porte Flora Of Plumas County, California, originally issued November 25, 1935; contained in Carnegie Institute of Washington Publication 465, 1937, Eocene Flora Of Western America. I edited and processed the images through photoshop; adding the green border, for one.

Note--Always check with the US Forest Service to determine if unauthorized fossil collecting is allowed at the La Porte locality.

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