Woodworthia sp W2


GENUS/SPECIES NAME:  Woodworthia sp.

Kingdom Plantae, Class Pinopsida, Family Protopinaceae

GEOLOGICAL AGE:  Triassic (approximately 190-200 million years old)


LOCATION:  West of Gokwe, Zimbabwe, Africa

DESCRIPTION:  Distributed through a 30 km wide area west of Gokwe in Zimbabwe, Africa is a petrified forest of the Triassic Period, approximately 190-200 million years old.  Largely comprised of araucarioid wood, quite attractive specimens of Woodworthia and Rhexoxylon may be discovered.  While the greater portion of the petrified forest remains buried, specimens are exposed to the surface as well.  Particularly prized amongst collectors are those specimens with green coloration, a by-product of permineralization by chromium compounds.  While Araucarioxylon is a conifer araucarioid wood that may be found in many of the petrified forests of the Jurassic and Triassic, Woodworthia specimens are far less common.  Slabs are characterized by narrow, horizontal vascular traces which traverse the entire radial width of the secondary xylum.  In life, these vascular traces would have terminated on preventitious buds which were deeply embedded within the bark, but which typically were not silicified during the fossilization process.  These buds would have had the capacity to develop into epicormic shoots when the crown foliage of the tree was damaged. Numerous shoot and leaf traces are readily apparent over the outer surface of well-preserved specimens.

Here is yet another radiant green slab of Woodworthia which exhibits a spectrum of light to deep greens interspersed by vascular, ray-like gray-black broad shoots which extend to the periphery of the transverse section.  Areas of agatized browns and yellows are seen more peripherally.  The bark is distinctive and exhibits several pits and dimples.  Polished to a glassy finish, one can lose oneself staring into some of the vascular patterns, which convey landscape and waterfall-type imagery.  This is a most distinctive and rare specimen which would be a centerpiece of any petrified wood collections, and would serve as well as a handsome conversation piece for the more casual buyer.

SIZE:  19.5 cm x 19.0 cm x 1.3 cm

PRICE:  $200