Wakame has been selected as the target of the project because it is relatively easy to identify with a little knowledge of its key features. Please submit photographs with your records clearly showing as many of the key features as possible.

Key features (sporophytes)

  • Dark green - brown colouration
  • A distinct midrib
  • A claw shaped/ branching holdfast
  • Fairly thin, membranous, sometimes crinkled frond
  • Frond branches (more so in mature sporophytes) almost like a Christmas tree - may appear as serrations at the base of the frond in young individuals
  • Corrugated ruffle shaped reproductive structure at the base of the stipe (except in young individuals)
  • May grow as long as 3 metres

ID Terms

  • Blade-the leaflike part of a seaweed
  • Digitate-shaped like a spread hand
  • Frond-the erect part of a seaweed including stipe and blade
  • Holdfast- the attachment structure that anchors a macroalgae to the substratum, can take a number of different forms such as rootlike, a disc (discoid), claw like or bulbous.
  • Membranous-forming a thin layer, may be semi-transparent, often sheet-like.
  • Midrib-a strengthened vein running along the middle of the frond
  • Stipe-stalk like part arising from the holdfast and connecting to the blade
  • Sporophyte-the spore producing phase in the life-cycle of plants with alternating generations. For the algae described the sporophyte is the large macroalgae observed on the shore, the gametophyte phase is microscopic.
  • Sporophyll-reproductive body producing gametophytes
  • Thallus-the entire body including the holdfast, stipe and blade.