Trachycarpus raphifolia (Sternnb.) Takht. = Sabal haeringiana (Ett.) palm leaf imprint
period: Lower Miocene (23.03-20.44 million years ago)
excavation site: Osieczów (Lower Silesia)
Palms evolved in the upper Cretaceous period (100-70 million years ago). The presented palm leaf imprint is younger – it is ca. 20 million years old. It bears resemblance to modern saw palmettos from warm regions of Southern America. Trachycarpus raphiofilia palms from Osieczów used to grow on coastal dunes near a freshwater reservoir. They were surrounded by pines and trees from fagaceae, salicaceae, lauraceae, myricaceae, and other families. The occurrence of pine and palm fossils indicates that the climate on Lower Silesia terrains in the Lower Miocene was much milder than it is nowadays – the lowest temperatures were around -6°C (nowadays as low as -41°C), and the highest, similarly as it is nowadays, around 40°C.
The piece comes from the collection of Polish Academy of Sciences Museum of the Earth in Warsaw.