Farlowia mollis (Harvey et Bailey) Farlow et Setchell
Farlow's seaweed

Introduction to the Algae


© Michael Hawkes     (Photo ID #14792)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Farlowia mollis
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Species Information

Family Description:
Members of this family come in a wide variety of forms, from cylindrical and branched to flattened blades. Some species have a single axial filament, whereas others have a multiaxial filamentous medulla. What unites these species into a single family is the occurrence of the carpogonium at the end of branch of beadlike cells and similarities in the formation of carposporangia after the carpogonium has been fertilized. All of the species described here have an alternation of isomorphic generations, and male and female reproductive structures usually occur on separate individuals.
Species in this family have unusual cell wall carbohydrates that have been shown to have antiviral properties.
Species description:
Farlow's Seaweed forms rather messy or tattered looking branched clumps to 20 cm (8 in) tall. It is bright to very dark (almost blackish) red in color and rather soft and slippery in texture. The branches, which come off the main axis in a more or less opposite pattern, are all flattened, and a faint midrib and veins are sometimes apparent. The main axis is up to 15 mm (0.6 in) wide, while the ultimate order of branching is fine and almost hairlike. Occasionally, at very exposed sites, completely unbranched forms are encountered.

Reproductive structures are tiny and will not be seen clearly in the field.

Farlow's Seaweed often grows partly buried in sand, or in areas where abrasion by sand is a constant threat. It was named in honor of W.G. Farlow, who worked at Harvard University and contributed to our knowledge of American algae.

SourceNorth Pacific Seaweeds

Habitat and Range

Bathymetry: mid and low intertidal, occasionally upper subtidal

World Distribution: Prince William Sound, Alaska, to Baja California, Mexico; northern Japan; Kurile Islands, Russia

SourceNorth Pacific Seaweeds


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Farlowia crassa
Gigartina mollis