Coniopteris is an extinct genus of Mesozoic fern leaves with a fossil range from the Early Jurassic to the Cenomanian stage of the Late Cretaceous. It was widespread over both hemispheres during the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, with over 130 species having been described. While traditionally assumed to have been a member of Dicksoniaceae or a close relative of Thyrsopteris, a 2020 cladistic analysis found it to be a stem group of Polypodiales.[1] Most species of Coniopteris probably had a herbaceous habit.[1] The genus is technically a junior synonym of the little used Polystichites, but was conserved by the ICZN in 2013.[2]

Temporal range: Early Jurassic-Cenomanian
~200–95 Ma
Dictyophyllum and Coniopteris (cropped).jpg
Coniopteris sp. from the Mecsek Coal Formation, Hungary, Hettangian
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Polypodiophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Subclass: Polypodiidae
Genus: Coniopteris
Brongniart 1849
Type species
Coniopteris murrayana
Brongniart 1835
  • C. frutiformis Douglas 1973
  • C. hymenophylloides Seward 1900
  • C. murrayana Brongniart 1835
  • Polystichites C. Presl in Sternberg, 1838


  1. ^ a b Li, Chunxiang; Miao, Xinyuan; Zhang, Li-Bing; Ma, Junye; Hao, Jiasheng (January 2020). "Re-evaluation of the systematic position of the Jurassic–Early Cretaceous fern genus Coniopteris". Cretaceous Research. 105: 104136. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2019.04.007. S2CID 146355798.
  2. ^ Doweld, Alexander B. (2013). "(2186) Proposal to conserve the name Coniopteris against Polystichites (fossil Pteridophyta, Protodicksoniales)". Taxon. 62 (4): 840. doi:10.12705/624.21. ISSN 1996-8175.