Prototaxites is the name of large petrified "trunks" that get to be a meter wide and up to several meters long, originally discovered in Lower Devonian strata of Gaspe, Quebec, Canada. Although these trunks were originally mistaken for conifer wood (hence the name), they were found to have an unusual composition of  two sizes of tubes. They have been found at numerous Late Silurian to Late Devonian sites in a variety of  areas and have been compared inconclusively with various groups of algae and fungi. They are thought by many to represent an early land plant "experiment" with no close living relatives. In the photograph you can see a cross section of Prototaxites  showing large and small tubes.
Click to return to Early Land Plants 
Click to return to Contents

Gensel, PG, and  HN Andrews. 1984.  Plant life in the Devonian.  Praeger Sicentific. New York.