Fossil fruits reveal Late Cretaceous rise of Cornales, the dogwood order

The asterids (>80 000 living species) appear in the fossil record with considerable diversity during the Late Cretaceous (~90 Ma) and are strongly represented by Cornales (order of dogwoods). These early cornaleans have been reported from sites in Western North America and Eastern Asia.

Eydeia jerseyensis

In this study, Atkinson et al. characterize a new cornalean species, Eydeia jerseyensis, based on charcoalified fruits from the Upper Turonian (~90 Ma) of Eastern North America, a separate landmass from Western North America at the time. They suggest that the diversity and distribution of Cornales at their earliest appearance indicate that the asterids evolved much earlier than 90 Ma.

Further reading

Atkinson, B. A., Martínez, C., & Crepet, W. L. (2018). Cretaceous asterid evolution: fruits of Eydeia jerseyensis sp. nov. (Cornales) from the upper Turonian of eastern North America. Annals of Botany, 123(3), 451–460. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcy170