Corallina officinalis var. chilensis Linnaeus
common coral seaweed

Introduction to the Algae


© Michael Hawkes     (Photo ID #26930)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Corallina officinalis var. chilensis
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Species Information

Family Description:
Species have an alternation of isomorphic generations, and male and female conceptacles occur on separate plants. Tetrasporangia are zonately divided; sometimes they are replaced by bisporangia (sporangia containing two spores each). Other characters are the same as those described above for the order.
Species description:
The Common Coral Seaweed has an encrusting base supporting erect branches that can be 15 cm (about 6 in) tall although locally are often about half that. Both base and branches are usually pale pink, although they can range to purplish.

Each branch has pinnately arranged side branches (that is, each branch is rather featherlike in construction). The segments are basically cylindrical but somewhat flattened, and most do not have lateral extensions or wings (a few segments can be winged, however). The axial segments (those that form the main axis) are mostly 1.5 to 3 mm long and are slightly flattened. Conceptacles are rare; they originate from the main axis, one per fertile intergeniculum, and often bulge above the intergenicular surface.

The erect branches of the Common Coral Seaweed are often decorated with patches of bryozoans, tiny blades of red algae, and the distinctive coiled, calcareous tubes of tiny spirorbid polychaetes.

This coralline is common to abundant in most areas where it is protected from the strongest surf. It is an opportunist that is able to rapidly colonize bare rock, but new erect branches can also grow rapidly from previously established crusts. It has a very high proportion of non-photosynthetic tissue (about 82%).

SourceNorth Pacific Seaweeds

Habitat and Range

Bathymetry: low intertidal and subtidal

World Distribution: Prince William Sound, Alaska, to Baja California, Mexico; Chile; Japan; Russia; Okhotsk Sea

SourceNorth Pacific Seaweeds


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Corallina chilensis