fossil order of coniferous plants

Cordaitales are an extinct order of woody plants. They are gymnosperms which may have been early conifers.[1]

Temporal range: CarboniferousPermian
Cordaites lungatus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Cordaitales


They had cone-like reproductive structures rather like those of modern conifers. The Cordaitales appeared during the Carboniferous period. They made big trees which were common on drier ground in tropical environments.

Also, some tall trees and some shrubby mangrove-like species of Cordaitales seem to have grown in the Carboniferous coal swamps. Cordaitales were also abundant during the Permian, but died out at the end of the Permian.

Many Cordiatales had elongated strap-like leaves, which look like the leaves of some modern-day conifers of the Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae.


  1. Eckenwalder, James E. 2009. Conifers of the World: the complete reference. Portland: Timber Press.