Alaria marginata (Winged kelp)
Copyright © 2006 Jan Holmes
The brown kelp Alaria has a haptera type holdfast giving rise to a stipe 7 to ~30 cm long. The smooth blade (up to 20 cm wide) with its distinct midrib can grow to over three meters long. Special reproductive blades (up to 20 lobed shaped pairs) grow out from the stipe. Alaria grows from mid to lower intertidal in exposed and semi protected areas. Alaria is a favorite ingredient in Asian dishes and over harvesting of this brown seaweed has been a problem in some areas. A similar species, A. nana, can also be found in our area. Authors describe A. nana as having a thicker stipe and midrib, and sporophylls that are thinner and tapered at the ends. Other species of Alaria exist in the North Pacific as well, moreover hybrid species have been found making positive identification to species level difficult at times.
page was created by Jan Holmes on 12/19/06.