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Order Rhodymeniales

Family Champiaceae

Chylocladia capensis Harvey 1847: 79

Plants dark red to brownish, sometimes iridescent, with more-or-less extensive holdfast and several erect axes, some curved and secondarily attached by small pads; erect axes from a few to (rarely) 20 cm tall (often smaller on the south coast), terete, regularly segmented; segments up to 5 x longer than broad in older parts, as long as broad in younger parts; branches (up to three orders) arising in whorls at constrictions in axes. Structure of axes hollow, with monostromatic septa at constrictions; thallus wall with 2-3 cortical layers comprising an epidermis of small (to about 35 µm diameter) almost isodiametric cells and inner 1-2 layers of loose, axially elongated cells; inner medullary later of thin filaments (10-20 µm diameter) bearing scattered small gland cells.

Polysporangia scattered, immersed in cortex, globose, up to 100 µm diameter, usually divided into 8 spores; cystocarps globose, without ostiole, projecting from thallus surface.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Found along the west coast and south coast as far as the Port St Johns area. (1-46). Epilithic in lower eulittoral and eulittoral fringe or in rock pools.

World distribution: South African endemic.

Type locality: Table Bay, Cape Province, South Africa (Silva et al. 1996).

Note: Stegenga et al. (1997) point out that this entity includes the South African record of Gastroclonium reflexum (Chauvin) Kützing recorded from Bird island, Algoa Bay in Anderson and Stegenga (1989).


Chylocladia capensis in compact turf, Keurboomstrand.

Chylocladia capensis in rock pool, Arniston.

Chylocladia capensis,  part of individual thallus.

Chylocladia capensis. 1. Habit. 2. Habit of small female plant with cystocarps. 3. Longitudinal section through thallus wall, showing polysporangia and gland cells. Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).


References Chylocladia capensis

Anderson, R.J. & H. Stegenga. 1989. Subtidal algal communities at Bird Island, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Botanica Marina 32: 299-311.

Harvey, W.H. 1847. Nereis australis. London. 125 pp., 50 pl.

Silva, P.C., Basson, P.W. & Moe, R.L. 1996. Catalogue of the benthic marine algae of the Indian Ocean. University of California Publications in Botany 79: 1-1259.

Stegenga, H., Bolton, J.J. & R. J. Anderson. 1997. Seaweeds of the South African west coast. Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium 18: 655 pp.


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.