Gnetales from Bayreuth

The Gnetales is a group of plants of which the systematic place is still not certain. Generally it can be said that this order finds a place between the conifers and the flowering plants (angiosperms). There are three extant genera: Ephedra, Gnetum and Welwitschia.
DesmiophyllumDesmiophyllum gothanii
is the name of ribbon-shaped leaves with closely spaced, parallel veins. The leaves were attached in couples to the stem. They are often found in  great numbers. The width of the leaves is very variable. The male fructification of this plant is also known: see below.
PiroconitesPiroconites kuespertii
is a part of the male fructification of Desmiophyllum. It is a rather large scale (up to 10 cm) which at one side is covered with ‘synangia’, existing of three fused sporangia. We have found several of these scales.
BernettiaBernettia inopinata
looks a bit like a small fir cone. It is not unlikely that this is the female fructification of Desmiophyllum.

ChlamydolepisChlamydolepis lautneri
is a kind of bract, belonging to both Piroconites and Bernettia. In most cases it is found detached. It can be up to 15 cm long and 5 cm wide, but mostly it is smaller.