Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

January 18, 2017: Botany Photo of the Day is being actively worked on. Returning soon!

Egregia menziesii

Egregia menziesii
Egregia menziesii

If you hadn't noticed, I made a decision to feature a few non-flowering organisms in between the previous series on Gentianaceae and the upcoming series on Sports and Biodiversity.

Feather boa kelp is found in the coastal waters of western North America, from Alaska to Baja California. This species is an algae of the lower intertidal to subtidal zones, and often reaches heights of 5m (16ft) (but has been known to exceed 7.5m (24.5 ft). The "olives" along the fronds are termed pneumatocysts; these small chambers contain gases to buoy the fronds and allow the fronds to reach more sunlight.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has an extensive profile of Egregia menziesii, so I'll make today's a short entry and direct you there for its chemistry, morphology, "strength", habitat and human uses.

For additional photographs, see Algaebase's page on Egregia menziesii or this (unfortunately too small for use in BPotD) Flickr image of the species.


Looks lovely, and delicious! I'm imagining a bowl full of this stuff, steamed.

Thank you for all the links, which I look forward to exploring. Maybe I'll find out if this is edible.

To me, it looks more lovely, graceful and delicate than egregious !

It would be great if more commenters included their geographic region when commenting, as Mary Ann in Toronto did. It is interesting, and helps when they refer to local growing conditions or plant sightings. Love the kelp!

These are fascinating. I love a change from flowers, even if what I'm looking at is kind of slimy. This is the second picture, including the old man's beard, of something I've read about in novels but never seen in real life or thought to look for on Google. Really cool.

My one visit to California included a trip to Point Lobos and the Monterey Aquarium both of which were fantastic, as well as seeing the otters amongst the kelp on the long drive.

feather boa is a fanciful name has pictures
one may find a botanical illustration
here and there -thank you daniel

have you been down the slopes yet

skis and mountain slopes for wood
and sports next week& bonjour

I remember swimming in the sea and eating these yummy bubbles. So nice to see the seaweeds mentioned!

If you are ever on Vancouver Island, and can take a seaweed tour of the beaches around Sooke Harbour House (an amazing inn) with Diane Bernard, I highly recommend it. Known as the Seaweed Lady, Diane has been working with local chefs, developing a market for culinary seaweed and has created a line of seaweed-based skin products. She's a wealth of knowledge, and is a walking endorsement of seaweed's healthful properties. Her hands look like a 20 year-old's! I'm sure someday soon we'll all recognize how healthful seaweed is, and will start to eat more of it.

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