Ulva intestinalis

Today’s photographs and write-up are courtesy of Douglas Justice, UBC Botanical Garden’s Curator of Collections. This is the second in a series of at least four BPotD entries on algae.

Ulva intestinalis is pictured here attached to smooth basaltic rock in brackish water on MacKenzie Beach, just north of Pacific Rim National Park. This species is a common feature of tidepools around the world, where it is known variously as sea hair or (more appropriately) gut weed. An annual species, local beaches are littered with their bleached, dried-up stems as temperatures fall in the autumn.

Daniel adds: Note that many references will have this algae under the name Enteromorpha intestinalis (L.) Nees, e.g., DeCew’s Guide. For a long time, Enteromorpha was considered a distinct genus from Ulva, based mainly on its tubular growth form. The two genera have now been merged; see Hayden et al. 2003. Linnaeus was right all along: Ulva and Enteromorpha are not distinct genera. (PDF) European Journal of Phycology. 38: 277-294.

Ulva intestinalis
Ulva intestinalis
Ulva intestinalis

5 responses to “Ulva intestinalis”

  1. bobbie

    These postings on sea algae is fascinating. There is something primal about the various plants of the ocean that draws me, although I live miles from the nearest salt water. I enjoy them!

  2. Adam Fikso

    I just got back to this site after recommending it to a friend last year. I WILL now try to check it EVERY day. Beautiful quality on the photos. And the range is encyclopedic which cheers me no end.

  3. Ronald Pecoff

    Info.Please .Is the solide dark vegetative mate without the filimentaceous portions , just the juvinal stage of development . Does the gametes or zoospores develope from the solide vegetative mate in Ulva or Enteromorpha intestinaqlis .? I’m trying to develope a method of to economicly reproduce this species in mass on a sustainable basis.
    Any help on identification of various parts would be most helpful. Sincerely..
    Ronald Pecoff , Integrated Agro-Systems

  4. Uncle B

    Possibly a source of bio-diesel? Fertilizers? Food? How fast does it grow? Can we dry it in the sun and store it for the winter? Tell us more about this fascinating thing, Algae like guts!

  5. rasanga

    we also have this species in sri lanka . they grow in rocky pool with shallow water.

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