E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Odonthalia floccosa (Esper) Falkenberg
sea brush
Rhodomelaceae

Introduction to the Algae

© Michael Hawkes  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #8797)

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Distribution of Odonthalia floccosa
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Ocean Biogeography Information System (global distribution)

Species Information

Family Description:
Four or more cells of the same height as the axial cell are cut off the various faces of the axial cell; these are called pericentral cells. Tetrasporangia are tetrahedrally divided. Each cystocarp is surrounded by a well-developed pericarp.
Species description:
Sea Brush is dark red to brownish black and profusely branched. The main axis is cylindrical and about 1 mm in diameter; it is often sinuousl curved, especially above its mid point. Coming off this axis alternately and in one plane are secondary axes that in turn carry tertiary branches. The tertiary branches carry numerous branchlets mostly of equal size. The entire organism reaches about 15 cm (6 in) in height by late May and can eventually reach 40 cm (16 in). On some individuals, small clumps of branchlets at or near the tips of the tertiary branches enclose carposporophytes, so the individuals carrying these would be female gametophytes.

In central Oregon, Sea Brush releases spores all year except for January and February when erect parts of the organism die back. Recruitment of new Sea Brush onto freshly cleared surfaces happens rapidly.

Individuals collected from southern British Columbia/southern Washington were able to withstand immersion for a week in water at a temperature of 25°C (77°F) but died in warmer water.

Sea Brush is common on rocks that are subject to moderate surf or water currents. We have seen it both on the outer coast and in more protected waters.

It has moderate caloric value (3.25 Calories per gram dry weight).

Source: North Pacific Seaweeds

Habitat / Range

Bathymetry: low intertidal
World Distribution: Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Santa Barbara County, California

Source: North Pacific Seaweeds

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Fucus floccosus

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

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General References