Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of very important and widely spread fossil plants which occur in the (Carboniferous) coal-measures, and which are especially characteristic of the middle section of the series. Sigil-laria is a tree often of large size, and chiefly known by the peculiar markings on the trunk, which in some respects resemble those which characterize Lepidodendron. These markings are leaf-scars, and they occur spirally distributed around the stem, and generally arranged on vertical ridges or ribs. Great numbers of species have been described, the variations in the form and arrangement of the leaf-scars and of the vascular scars being the points chiefly relied on for specific distinction. Sigillaria is but imperfectly known, so far as foliage and fruit are concerned, hut most paleobotanists consider it probable that it will be eventually proved to be closely related to Lepidodendron; others refer it to the cycads; while there are some who maintain that it is probable that various plants quite different from one another in their systematic position have been included under the name Sigillaria.
- n. plural The last days of the Saturnalia in Rome, under the empire, in which presents of figurines of wax or clay were made, especially to children and slaves.
- n. Any of the genus Sigillaria of fossil trees principally found in the coal formation, with seal-like leaf scars in vertical rows on the surface.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rom. Antic.) Little images or figures of earthenware exposed for sale, or given as presents, on the last two days of the Saturnalia; hence, the last two, or the sixth and seventh, days of the Saturnalia.
- n. (Paleon.) A genus of fossil trees principally found in the coal formation; -- so named from the seallike leaf scars in vertical rows on the surface.
- From the genus name. (Wiktionary)
“There were tall grasses, ferns, lycopods, besides sigillaria, asterophyllites, now scarce plants, but then the species might be counted by thousands.”
“They were lowly shrubs of earth, here attaining gigantic size; lycopodiums, a hundred feet high; the huge sigillaria, found in our coal mines; tree ferns, as tall as our fir-trees in northern latitudes; lepidodendra, with cylindrical forked stems, terminated by long leaves, and bristling with rough hairs like those of the cactus.”
“Sir Charles Lyell mentions an individual sigillaria 72 feet in length found at Newcastle, and a specimen taken from the Jarrow coal mine was more than 40 feet in length and 13 feet in diameter near the base.”
“(Is there perchance a survival here of the _sigillaria_, the little clay dolls sold in Rome at the _Saturnalia_?)”
“For the earthenware or pastry sigillaria then sold all over Rome, see Macrobius; s.”
“I have many times used this in illustration of the hollow sigillaria trees of the coal, for in these, also, the bark was the most imperishable part.”
“In no other age did the world ever witness such a flora; the youth of the earth was peculiarly a green and umbrageous youth — a youth of dusk and tangled forests, of huge pines and stately araucarians, of the reed-like calamite, the tall tree-fern, the sculptured sigillaria, and the hirsute lepidodendrons.”
Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World, Bunsen's Biblical Researches, On the Study of the Evidences of Christianity; Seances Historiques de Gen��ve; On the Mosaic Cosmogony; Tendencies of Religious Thought in England, 1688-1750; On the Interpretation of Scripture.
“He may notice, however, in the fifth and sixth wall cases, fossil specimens of extinct plants, including the sigillaria, which, when living, is supposed to have attained often to the height of seventy feet.”
“Amongst the most remarkable are -- the sigillaria, of which large stems are very abundant, shewing that the interior has been soft, and the exterior fluted with separate leaves inserted in vertical rows along the flutings -- and the stigmaria, plants apparently calculated to flourish in marshes or pools, having”
“In no other age did the world ever witness such a flora: the youth of the earth was peculiarly a green and umbrageous youth, -- a youth of dusk and tangled forests, of huge pines and stately araucarians, of the reed-like calamite, the tall tree-fern, the sculptured sigillaria, and the hirsute lepidodendron.”
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