A close-up of a colonial Lily Hydroid – possibly one of the Diphasia genus – on red seaweed washed up on the shore at Lulworth Cove, Dorset. Despite the immediate impression, Hydroids are animals not plants. This type has gently curving, fragile stems with irregular branching. The cups (hydrothecae) bearing the animals are arranged in pairs along the stalks.
For more information about hydroids, look at:
Hayward, P. J. and Ryland J. S. (1995) Handbook of the Marine Fauna of North-West Europe, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0 19 854055 8 (Pbk), pages 85 – 111.
Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, A. and Shields, C. (1996) Sea shore of Britain and Europe, Collins Pocket Guide, , ISBN 0 00 21995, pages 50 – 61.
Porter, J (2012) Seasearch Guide to Bryozoans and Hydroids of Britain and Ireland, Marine Conservation Society, Ross-on-Wye.
For more information about Lulworth Cove itself look at Lulworth online.