The Tertiary formations have been assigned to six periods; these are termed - Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and each has its own botanical peculiarities.
During the Paleocene period the plants were not markedly different from those of the Upper Cretaceous.
East of Paris, an isolated deposit of calcareous tufa full of leaves, which gives a curious insight into the vegetation which flourished in Paleocene times around a waterfall.
The plant-bearing marls of Gelinden, near Liege, contain the debris of a Paleocene forest.
Other deposits of this age in France have furnished plants of a more varied aspect, including myrtles, araucarias, a bamboo and several fanleaved palms. Saporta points out the presence in these Paleocene deposits of certain types common, on the one hand, to the American Tertiary strata between the Missouri and the Rocky Mountains, and on the other, to the Tertiary flora of Greenland.
The Paleocene deposits of Great Britain are of marine origin, and only yield pinecones and fragments of Osmunda.