A drawing of Cooksonia.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Tracheophytes
Genus: †Cooksonia
  • C. paranensis
    (Gerrienne, 2001)
  • C. pertoni
    (Lang, 1937)
  • C. acuminata
    (Mussa, 2002)
  • C. bohemica
    ( Schweitzer, 1980)
  • C. cambrensis
    (Edwards, 1979)
  • C. downtonensis
  • C. rusanovii
    (Ananiev, 1960)

Cooksonia are some of the earliest known land plants. They existed during the middle Silurian period (wenlock epoch) and went extinct during the early Devonian period. They are a transitional genus between the bryophytes and vascular plants.

Cooksonia was first discovered in Britain, where most of the fossils come from. It thrived around the world. No fossil has been found of a Cooksonia producing gemetes, but rather spores.



A fossil of Cooksonia from South Wales.

Cooksonia is one of the oldest plants to have a stem with vascular tissue. It was also a non-vascular bryophyte.

Cooksonias were small (about 0.03-3mm), and lacked leaves. Each branch had a sporangium at their end for producing spores.

Some Cooksonia species had trancheids (Although not many).

In popular culture[]