Sigillaria is the generic name assigned to this ancient arborescent lycopod. It had leaves and roots very similar to its contemporaneous cousin, lepidodendron, but it differed in that it exhibited much rarer branching and its tall, columnar trunk lacked the scale-pattern of lepidodendron, instead exhibiting straight, fluted furrows along the trunk midsection. Occassionally the trunks were smooth.
Other differences with lepidodendron were its cones. Lepidodendron cones were attached individually near the tip of it's branches. Sigillaria cones occurred in clusters attached in certain places along the upper stem.
Another characteristic of sigillaria are the vertically-arranged circular scar pattern found in fossil specimens representing the inner bark. These scars called parichnos occur in specimens assigned the form-genus name of Syringodendron.
Sigillaria was prolific during the Carboniferous Period (360 to 286 million years ago)
and, like its cousin lepidodendron, often attained heights of over 130 feet.
Reconstruction of Sigillaria
(Drawn by Jerry Jenkins after various sources)
From: Plant Fossils of West Virginia, Educational Series ED-3A
West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey- 1978
William H. Gillespie
John A. Clendening
Hermann W. Pfefferkorn