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.

Egregia menziesii
Egregia menziesii

8 responses to “Egregia menziesii”

  1. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    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.

  2. Marilyn Brown

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

  3. Plantita Plantón in Maryland

    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!

  4. Bonnie

    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.

  5. jan phillips

    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.

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    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

  7. Janey Pugh

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

  8. Ilona Biro

    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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