The paleobotany collections, including several “orphaned” collections, is comprised of compression, impression, petrified, and permineralized specimens from Precambrian to Pleistocene stratigraphic horizons and from various localities around the world. The focus of the collection is currently on Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic fossils from Antarctica (Antarctic Collection), the largest collection of Antarctic fossil plants in the world. Additional material includes Pennsylvanian, Permian, and Cretaceous compression-impression specimens from several localities in eastern and central Kansas and coal balls from the Midcontinent, USA.
The Division of Paleobotany was instituted in 1995 when Edith L. Taylor and Thomas N. Taylor moved to the University of Kansas, bringing their extensive collection of fossil plants with them. The Taylor Collection and the Baxter Collection of mostly Kansas coal balls formed the core of the KU Paleobotany collection, but we have acquired other so-called orphaned collections, including portions of the collections of Ted Delevoryas (Triassic of North Carolina; Jurassic of Mexico), Lawrence C. Matten (Devonian of Ireland), Gar W. Rothwell (early seed plants) and Gene Mapes (Pennsylvanian of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas).