Intact specimen of
the fossil montsechia
The 125 to 130 million-year-old fossil provides a record of one of earliest known flowering plants on Earth ― a mythical first flower present during the age of dinosaurs.
"A 'first flower' is technically a myth, like the 'first human,'"Montsechia has the rudimentary characteristics of a flowering plant, also known as an angiosperm.
― David Dilcher, Paleobotanist
"Montsechia possesses no obvious ‘flower parts,’ such as petals or nectar-producing structures for attracting insects, and lived out its entire life cycle under water. The fruit contains a single seed which is borne upside down."Montsechia produced seeds within a carpal, the female reproductive organ of a flower. Carpals are a component of the gynoecium which is the term that describes the parts of a flowing plant that develop into the fruit and seeds. Gynoecium is a composite word from the Greek words gyne, meaning woman, and oikous, meaning house.
― David Dilcher
"There’s still much to be discovered about how a few early species of seed-bearing plants eventually gave rise to the enormous, and beautiful, variety of flowers that now populate nearly every environment on Earth."
― David Dilcher
- Fossilised remains of world’s oldest flower discovered in Spain, Helen Thomson, The Guardian, 17 August 2015.
- IU paleobotanist identifies what could be the mythical 'first flower', Indiana University Bloomington Newsroom, 17 August 2015.
- Montsechia vidalii: Paleontologists Identify One of Earliest Flowering Plants, Sci-News.com, 18 August 2015.
- Mythical First Flower Found, Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News, 17 August 2015.