Fossil Leaves From La Porte Hydraulic Gold Mine

Sierra Nevada, California

Click on the images for larger pictures. 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--Tabernaemontana intermedia, the Eocene equivalent of the living Tabernaemontana lanceolata--common name Grape jasmine. An evergreen shrub or small tree that grows from about one and half to 16 feet tall. Present native range is southern China, India, Myanmar, and Thailand. Grows at elevations from 330 to 5,250 feet in southern China.

Middle--Left and right: Phylittes alchorneopsis--A form genus-species of uncertain botanic affinity (Incertae sedis). It shows closest affinity to two modern members of the genus Alchornea--Alchornea trewiodes of southern China (notably in Guangxi) and north Vietnam and Alchornea davidii of southern China.

Bottom--Ficus goshenensis: An Eocene analog for the modern Ficus bonpandiana syn. obtusifolia, an evergree tree that grows from sea level to 3,280 feet in Bolivia and Brazil, north through Central America to Mexico. Tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions, from very wet habitats to seasonally very dry areas.

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.

Return To Plant Fossils At The La Porte Hydraulic Gold Mine, Sierra Nevada, California