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Order Laminariales

Family Lessoniaceae

Ecklonia Hornemann

Life history heteromorphic; macroscopic (large) sporophyte alternating with microscopic filamentous gametophyte. Sporophyte thallus comprising holdfast, stipe and blades. Holdfast of branched terete haptera. Stipe solid or hollow, usually terete. Primary blade terminal on stipe, usually smooth; secondary blades arising from margins of primary blade, smooth, spiny or rugose. Sori of plurilocular sporangia usually confined to secondary blades.

Ecklonia occurs in most warm temperate seas, particularly southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the north-western Pacific, and is often an ecological dominant. It is rare in the north Atlantic and absent from the eastern Pacific (Bolton & Anderson 1994). Nine species are recognised at present (M.D. Guiry in Guiry & Guiry 2014), of which two are recorded from the south coast of South Africa.


Key to the species

1a. Stipes hollow, (usually) long (up to 8 m), blade surfaces always smooth

E. maxima


1b. Stipes solid, short (a few to ca 40 cm long), blade surfaces often corrugated and/or with spines

E. radiata


References Ecklonia

Bolton, J. J. and R. J. Anderson. (1994). Ecklonia. In: The Biology of Economic Algae. I. Akatsuka (Ed.). SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, Netherlands, pp. 385-406.

M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2014. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 11 September 2014.


Cite this record as:

Anderson RJ, Stegenga H, Bolton JJ. 2016. Seaweeds of the South African South Coast.
World Wide Web electronic publication, University of Cape Town,; Accessed on 19 April 2024.