Postelsia palmaeformis (Sea palm kelp)
Copyright © 2007 Jan Holmes
This short brown palm tree-like seaweed is restricted to areas of extreme wave shock. It grows high in the intertidal on rocky shores in the splash zone, usually among clumps of the giant mussel Mytilus californianus. Its finger-like haptera holdfast leads to a hollow stipe up to 60 cm (24 in) tall with dozens of long (25 cm / 10 in) blades attached at the top. Spores are released during low tide from special groves running the length of the blades. The spores drip down onto the nearby substrate and attach themselves before the next high tide. Postelsia is adapted to withstand the battering of the harshest of surf conditions.
page was created by Jan Holmes on 1/6/07.