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Temporal range: Mesozoic
Main floristic types from the Danian - journal.pone.0052455.g007-right.png
Cheirolepidiaceae in a Danian landscape (reconstruction by F. Guillén)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Cheirolepidiaceae

See text.

Cheirolepidiaceae is a family of extinct coniferous plants.

This family of conifers, superficially similar to Cupressaceae, was a significant part of the flora of the Mesozoic, around 252 to 66 million years ago (Axsmith et al., 2004). They are united by the possession of a distinctive pollen type assigned to the form genus Classopollis. The name Frenelopsidaceae (as a separate family) or "frenelopsids" has been used for a group of Cheirolepidiaceae with jointed stems, thick internode cuticles, sheathing leaf bases and reduced free leaf tips.

Some species are thought to have been the first plants to be insect pollinated as they occur in association with extinct pollinating scorpionflies.[1]


  1. ^ Ren D, Labandeira CC, Santiago-Blay JA, Rasnitsyn A, Shih CK, Bashkuev A, Logan MA, Hotton CL, Dilcher D. (2009). Probable Pollination Mode Before Angiosperms: Eurasian, Long-Proboscid Scorpionflies. Science, 326 (5954), 840-847. doi:10.1126/science.1178338