These six groups were the dominant types throughout the period, but during Upper Carboniferous time three other groups arose, the Coniferales, the Cycadophyta, and the Ginkgoales (of which Ginkgo biloba is the only modern representative).
The Cordaitales (see Palaeobotany: Palaeozoic) are represented by extinct forms only, which occupied a prominent position in the Palaeozoic period; these plants exhibit certain features in common with the living Araucarias, and others which invite a comparison with the maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba), the solitary survivor of another class of Gymnosperms, the Ginkgoales (see Palaeobotany: Mesozoic).
Ginkgoales (recent and extinct).
During the Triassic and Jurassic periods the genus Baiera - no doubt a representative of the Ginkgoales--was widely spread throughout Europe and in other regions; Ginkgo itself occurs abundantly in Mesozoic and Tertiary rocks, and was a common plant in the Arctic regions as elsewhere during the Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous periods.
Through the succeeding ages the Ginkgoales were represented by numerous forms, which gradually became more restricted in their distribution and fewer in number during the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, terminating at the present day in one solitary survivor.
Ginkgoales; Hirase, " Etudes sur la fecondation, &c., de Ginkgo biloba," Journ.