Sea Palm

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Scientific Name: Postelsia palmaeformis

Number of Blades/Leaves: 16

Blade/Leaf Width: N/A          

Distribution: Postelsia palmaeformis is found along the western coast of North Americafrom as far north as Vancouver Island, to the southern central coast of California. it inhabits rocky shores with constant waves. It is one of the few algae species that can survive and remain erect out of the water; in fact, it spends most of its life cycle exposed to the air.

Description: Postelsia palmaeformis, also known by the common name Sea Palm is an intertidal brown algae that occurs on rocky shores of the Pacific coast of North America, usually in patches from a few to hundreds of individuals. As an autotroph, it produces its own food via photosynthesis. Postelsia palmaeformis is an annual and like many brown algae has two distinct morphologies during its lifecycle – the microscopic gametophyte and the macroscopic sporophyte, which resembles a small palm tree. The sporophyte’s maximum height is variable, but can reach 60-75cm.  

 

Colony of live sea palms living on a rocky shore