Feldspathoidal and quartz-bearing syenite xenoliths in c. 235 to 155 ka tuffs surrounding the Latera caldera have textures and mineral assemblages that indicate an origin from the crystalline margins of a shallow magma chamber. This lithic suite exhibits a diversity of plutonic fabrics; unaltered, glass-bearing nodules with undeformed sanidine frameworks coexist with completely crystallized clasts, many of which show evidence of subsolidus modification. The syenites comprise eutectic mineral assemblages with high percentages of titanite, apatite, and melanite garnet as accessory minerals. Ubiquitous reaction textures in syenite accompany progressive changes in mineral assemblages, and they show the decreasing influence of limestone contamination with distance from the contact of syenite and skarn wallrock. Diagnostic mineral assemblages include nepheline rich in calcite inclusions, coexisting titanite and metamorphic perovskite, zircon with baddeleyite inclusions, fluorapatite mantled by a possible carbonate-bearing apatite (francolite), melanite garnet intergrown with clinopyroxene, and interstitial haüyne rich in pyrrhotite inclusions.
At Latera, pumice fragments in the same deposit can exhibit up to ten-fold differences in vesicularity and crystal content (from < 5 to > 50 vol. % phenocrysts). These clasts, in conjunction with glass-bearing syenite and skarn xenoliths, may represent a range of progressively crystallized magmas that were quenched at the instant of their eruptive entrainment. The major element abundances of pumices and syenite reflect the fractionation of plagioclase and sanidine, with lesser amounts of fassaitic diopside, leucite, biotite, apatite, and alkali amphibole. Trace element ratios (e.g. Rb/Sr, Nb/Ta, Zr/Hf, LREE/HREE), on the other hand, are highly variable for crystalline and pumiceous ejecta, and some element variations (e.g. Li, Ta, Nb, Th) cannot be entirely reconciled with simple crystal-liquid fractionation. The syenite clasts span a range of compositions from strongly fractionated assemblages rich in accessory minerals to compositions that more closely approximate quenched reservoir liquids. These features reflect processes that range from pure fractional crystallization to in situ crystallization where fractionated liquid was trapped in the pores of sidewall cumulates along the chamber roof and walls.