Click on the photos for more information
A second rather
common species is Brachyphyllum mamillare (photo on the left), which
is classified in the Araucaria group, though the leaflets differ very
much from those of the living 'monkey puzzle tree'. The leaflets are very
short and thick and overlap each other. Especially near Whitby we have found
a lot of small twigs of this plant.
Famous is the jet from North Yorkshire, a fine, compact, black material, which is used to make (mourning) ornaments, lockets, dolls furniture, etc. It is fossil wood of Aracauria trees and some other conifers and it is collected in perfect quality at Saltwick Nab near Whitby. Since the Bronze Age this material has been won and a complete industry has come in existence. The museum in Whitby shows beautiful examples and gives also much information on this industry. In several places along the beach you can find fossil trees (click on the photo below), but in most cases they are of inferior quality. Neither it is certain that these are potential jet trees: they can also be other conifers.
A lot more conifers has been described, but these are all more or less rare and we are not aware to have found them. In most cases a cuticle preparation is needed to be sure about the species or even the genus.