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.