USNM 37545B Benzoin venustum alaskanum Hollick  


Hollick (1930)

Pl. 45 Fig. 2

Part/Counterpart USNM 37545A




From Hollick (1930) (p. 81)

"Yukon River, north bank, about 14 miles below Melozi telegraph station (original No. 3AH13); collected by Arthur Hollick and Sidney Paige in 1903 (lot 3250)."


Locality Map



From Hollick (1930) (p. 81)

"Plate 45, Figure 2"

"Leaf palmately three-nerved from the base, trilobate above the middle, rounded from above the middle downward to a broad cuneate base, margin entire; median lobe conspicuously larger than the lateral ones, bluntly apiculate, enlarged in the middle; lateral lobes short, rounded, blunt; sinuses shallow, broad; lateral primaries ascending, ultimately bent slightly backward, with branches on the under sides that curve upward and become camptodrome along the margin; secondary nerves arranged in three subopposite pairs that leave the midrib at acute angles of divergence and curve upward toward the margin."



From Hollick (1930) (p. 81)

"This leaf is so nearly like Benzoin venustum (Lesquereux) Knowlton (1898) (p. 47, 1898 [= Lindera venusta Lesquereux, The flora of the Dakota group: U. S. Geol. Survey Mon. 17, p. 95, pl. 16, figs. 1, 2, 1892]) that whether it should be regarded as a variety or as specifically identical is open to question. In our specimen the lobes are more rounded and the secondary nerves diverge from their points of attachment at more obtuse angles than in Lesquereux's figures of the species, and there are other minor differences that may be seen better than they can be described; hence it seems advisable that the Alaskan leaf should be regarded as representing a variety of the original species.

It may also be of interest to compare these leaves with Sasssafras progenitor Newberry (1895[1896]) (p. 88, pl. 27, figs. 1 - 3) from the Raritan formation of New Jersey, a species that includes leaves varying greatly in size, the smallest of which, however, is so strikingly like Benzoin venustum that it is difficult to escape the idea that they may be specifically identical. A comparison of Newberry's Figure 3 with Lesquereux's Figure 2 will at once demonstrate their close similarity. In fact, the indications appear to be that the Alaska, Kansas, and New Jersey specimens are all referable to a single species; but whether this species should be referred to the genus Benzoin or to the genus Sassafras may be regarded as a matter of individual judgment.