Notes on some Glossopteris species from Hammanskraal (Transvaal)

07 January 2015

The study of Glossopteris began with the mistake that two half fronds were glued together as one and that specimen was chosen as the holotype of one of the first Glossopteris ever described, Glossopteris browniana var. indica Bngn. The mistake led to confusion and even to distrust of the possibility of identifying Glossopteris species on frond impressions only. As most of the GIossopteris remains are such, and the literature from Brongniart onwards is mainly based on them, the frond morphography is bound to be the starting point of the classification. The present paper shows that (a) with the examination of greater numbers of specimens, it is possible to select the specific characters and to learn the individual variations and (b) identifications can only be based on the original descriptions and figures of the taxa.