Egg or Knotted Wrack, Ascophyllum nodosum (Linnaeus) Jolie, with attached tufts of the red seaweed, Polysiphonia lanosa (Linnaeus) Tandy, at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (1) 

This colourful and interesting pattern of seaweeds was growing as an extensive mat on the flat rock outcrop called Perry Ledge at Ringstead Bay, Dorset. It mostly shows the brown seaweed known as Egg or Knotted Wrack, Latin name Ascophyllum nodosum (Linnaeus) Jolie.

Egg Wrack typically is a robust, leathery, olive green alga with no midrib to the blade. Large egg-shaped air bladders that act as floats are spaced at intervals along the blades. The bright yellow objects (resembling sultanas on stalks) are the reproductive bodies that release the spores into the water.

I particularly like the way the weed is apparently artfully arranged (actually that is just how I found it – I did not rearrange this for effect); also the contrasting colours of dark green, bright yellow and deep red; and the combination of textures from leathery, to granular, and moss-like.

The photographs show the Egg Wrack living in association with the red seaweed Polysiphonia lanosa (Linnaeus) Tandy. This short red tufted alga is usually attached – sometimes in great numbers as in the pictures – around the stalk of the reproductive bodies of the Egg Wrack.

Egg or Knotted Wrack, Ascopyllum nodosum (Linnaeus) Le Jolis, with attached tufts of the red seaweed Polysiphonia lanosa (Linnaeus) Tandy at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (2)

Revision of a post first published 21 April 2009


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4 Replies to “Egg Wrack at Ringstead”

  1. I just found your excellent blog through following my own tags to see where they led, I am nothing if not curious. I just love what I have found here, it all fits in with the ethos of my own Foto’s That Don’t Fit blog. I will be returning from time to time to keep up 🙂


  2. Thank you. I am pleased you like my blog. You have some excellent photos too. It seems we have an eye for similar subjects. Although I am currently writing the blog about the seashore, I am interested in and photograph lots of other things besides – urban and rural. Some of the pictures are on my Artistic Nature Photography web site as well as the portfolio with Latent Light. As with yourself, colour, pattern, texture, reflection and shadow are recurring themes.


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