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Order Ceramiales

Family Rhodomelaceae

Laurencia pumila (Grunow) Papenfuss 1943: 91-92

Plants green with purple apices, up to 2.5 cm tall, up to 2 orders of branches. Several axes arising from a rhizoidal holdfast; apices clavate; axes terete, 1-1.5 mm wide, unbranched when young; in mature thalli short ultimate branchlets 0.5-2.2 (-3) mm wide near the base, apices truncated apices. In cross-section axial and pericentral cells indistinguishable. Innermost cortical and medullary cells two to three times larger than outermost cortical cells. Innermost cortical cells round with visible intercellular spaces, lenticular cell wall thickenings absent. Outermost cortical cells with (usually) 1 corps en cerise per cell.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from Tsitsikamma to northern KwaZulu-Natal (32-58)(De Clerck et al. 2005). Epilithic in the mid-eulittoral zone, where it forms distinctive small tufts.

Word distribution: Also reported from Mozambique (De Clerck et al. 2005).

Type locality: Port Natal (Durban), South Africa (Silva et al. 1996).

Note: L. pumila differs from other South African Laurencia species in that the thallus is sparsely branched and has club-shaped apices. Francis et al. (2017) distinguish a subspecies, L. pumila ssp dehoopiensis, which is epiphytic and geographically widely separated from L. pumila.


Laurencia pumila, KwaZulu-Natal.


References Laurencia pumila

De Clerck, O., Tronchin, E. M., & Schils, T. 2005. Red algae. In: De Clerck, O., J.J. Bolton, R. J. Anderson and E. Coppejans, 2005. Guide to the Seaweeds of Kwazulu-Natal. National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Brussels (Scripta Botanica Belgica), pp. 130-269.

Francis, C.M., Bolton, J.J., Mattio, L., Mandiwana-Neudani, T. & Anderson, R.J. 2017. Molecular systematics reveals increased diversity within the South African Laurencia complex (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta). Journal of Phycology 53: 804-819.

Papenfuss, G.F. 1943. Notes on South African marine algae II. Journal of South African Botany 9 pp. 79-92.

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.


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 02 March 2024.