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The Flora of the Petrified Forest


Systematic study of sections of petrified trunks, leaves, fruits and seeds has led to the identification of the genera and species of the plants which made up the forests of Lesvos 20,000,000 years ago. The fossilized flora consists of pteridophytes, conifers, and angiosperms (mono- and dicotyledons).

The conifers include ancestral forms of the sequoia, pine, cypress and other rare species for which there are no modern equivalents. A large number of fossilized trees belong to the ancestral form of the present day Sequoia sempervirens, which currently grows on the west coast of the United States. Protopinaceae have also been identified. These are ancestors of the modern day pine, cypress and the rare Cunninghamia miocenia.

Angiosperms (flowering plants) include representatives of the species of poplar, laurel, cinnamon, plane, oak, lime, beech, alder and maple have been found. Also, various types of palms have been identified.

Research and excavations carried out by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest in the region of the Petrified Forest have revealed different zones of vegetation, helping to clarify the picture of the vegetation of this ancient forest.

The composition of the petrified flora indicates that the Petrified Forest developed in a subtropical climate, which changed suddenly into a continental climate, with plants characteristic of the subtropics of Southeast Asia and America.


Parks of the Petrified Forest with distinct vegetational zones
(resolution: 700px x 510px)

Article by Velitzelos - Zouros 1997 (1)

Article by Velitzelos - Zouros 1997 (2)

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