order of plants (fossil)

Bennettitales (also known as cycadeoids) is an extinct order of seed plants.[1]

Temporal range: PermianUpper Cretaceous,
Kungurian–Maastrichtian Possible Oligocene record
A Cycadeoid, showing an "inflorescence" in the top-right
Williamsonia life restoration - MUSE.jpg
Life restoration of Williamsonia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Spermatophytes
Order: Bennettitales
Engler, 1892

They first appeared in the Permian period and became extinct in most places toward the end of the Cretaceous. Bennettitales are among the most common Mesozoic seed plants. They looked like shrubs or cycads.

Although the leaves of the Bennettitales looked like that of cycads, they had more complex flower-like reproductive organs. So some of them were probably pollinated by insects.[2]

Certainly Bennettitales were cone-bearing seed plants. However, their relationship to other seed plants is unclear.


  1. Arens NC, Stromberg C, Thompson A. "Introduction to the Bennettitales". University of California Museum of Paleontology. [1]
  2. Peñalver E, Arillo A, Pérez-de la Fuente R, Riccio ML, Delclòs X, Barrón E, Grimaldi DA (2015). "Long-proboscid flies as pollinators of Cretaceous gymnosperms". Current Biology. 25 (14): 1917–23. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.05.062. PMID 26166781.