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Temporal range: Middle Devonian
Eospermatopteris erianus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Cladoxylopsida
Order: Pseudosporochnales
Genus: Wattieza

Wattieza was a genus of prehistoric trees that existed in the mid-Devonian that belong to the cladoxylopsids, close relatives of the modern ferns and horsetails. The 2005 (publicly revealed in 2007) discovery in Schoharie County, New York, of fossils from the Middle Devonian (about 385 million years ago) united the crown of Wattieza to a root and trunk known since 1870, the fossilized grove of "Gilboa stumps" discovered at Gilboa, New York, which had been previously described as Eospermatopteris, though the complete plant remained unknown. These fossils have been described as the earliest known trees, standing 8 m (26 ft) or more tall, resembling the unrelated modern tree fern.[1]

Wattieza had fronds rather than leaves,[2] and reproduced with spores.[1]


  1. ^ a b Stein, W. E., F. Mannolini, L. V. Hernick, E. Landling, and C. M. Berry. 2007. "Giant cladoxylopsid trees resolve the enigma of the Earth's earliest forest stumps at Gilboa", Nature (19 April 2007) 446:904-907.
  2. ^ Meyer-berthaud, B.; Decombeix, A.L. (2007). "Palaeobotany: A tree without leaves". Nature. 446 (7138): 861–862. doi:10.1038/446861a. PMID 17443169.