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Stonerose fossils

Florissantia quilchenensis
Family Malvaceae

Though fossil flowers are very rare, the most common is the Florissantiaquilchenensis that occurs in Republic as well as in same-age deposits of the Chuckanut Formation near Bellingham, Washington and in neighboring British Columbia. This beautiful flower (pictured at right) is the symbol of the Stonerose Interpretive Center in Republic—although it is not actually a rose flower.

The fossil flower of Florissantia quilchenensis is the symbol of the Stonerose Interpretive Center. 3 cm wide.
Photo by T.A. Dillhoff

streambank globemallow
Streambank globemallow (Iliamna rivularis) is a member of the Malvaceae family found in Washington state.
Photo by Ben Legler ©2004

The genus Florissantia belongs in the group of plants called Malvales that includes thousands of species of living flowering plants, for example hibiscus, globemallow (pictured at left), and the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao).

The flower fossils have never been found associated with leaves, so we do not know if Florissantia was a tree, a shrub, or a vine. The shape of the flowers, and the pollen, indicates that Florissantia blooms were pollinated by insects or birds.