The first flower on Earth appeared in what is now Spain

The first flower on Earth appeared in what is now Spain

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200 years ago the first fossilized specimens of the Montsechia vidalii in Montsec but at first it was doubted whether it was a plant, a kind of lichen or a moss. A group of American, French and Spanish researchers have now proven that the Montsechia It is the first angiosperm, that is, the first flowering plant in the fossil record.

130 million years ago in the Sierra de Montsec (Lleida) and the Serranía de Cuenca were lowlands with many freshwater lakes, in these the first flowering plants or angiosperms were developed.

"The Montsechia it is the oldest angiosperm found in the fossil record that we know for its vegetative (stems and leaves) and reproductive (fruits and seeds) parts ”, explained the paleo-botanist from the University of Lyon and co-author of the study, Bernard Gómez .

Researchers have studied about 1,000 fossils from Montsec and the Yacimiento de las Hoyas, in Cuenca, and have dated them to the Barremian, age of the Cretaceous period, between 130 and 125 million years ago, although this is not new data because the age of the Montsechia it had already been established. The most revealing is the confirmation of its angiosperm character.

To this day, angiosperms are the plants that dominate the terrestrial plant mantle. For a plant to be classified as an angiosperm, it must be organized in stems and leaves and be vascular (have plant cells) and also has to produce seed, but what defines them is the reproduction system formed by sepals, petals and carpels.

In addition to the dating of the plant, Researchers have also concluded the underwater nature of the Montsechia. It has been found that it did not have roots and no pollen has been found, so it is thought that the plant would have used water as a pollinator medium.

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