Vibrant new growths of seaweed sprouted from rocky outcrops on Porthmeor Beach, and trailed in gently lapping clear water. They were just the common British seaweeds that you find on lots of seashores, mostly wracks (Fucoids)…… but they looked gloriously fresh and green, golden green in many instances, as the sun shone that May morning.

14 Replies to “Seaweed at Porthmeor”

  1. That’s a healthy crop of seaweed on the rocks. Its a wonderful dark olive green. I am often looking at seaweed that’s been washed up and it’s a much darker colour, almost black. I wonder what determines whether seaweed grows on the rocks or not, is it to do with tidal range, force of the currents?


  2. Thank you, John. Seaweed always deserves a closer look. It is so varied, so many types, and looking different at different life stages. Sometimes absolutely as beautiful as any flowering plant.

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  3. These are very young and beautiful specimens, some of them sporting their reproductive bodies. Some of them are probably edible, too. Lots of seaweed is.


  4. Hello, Emma. The darker colour of seaweed that has been washed up on the shore is usually to do with the fact that it is desiccated and on its way to decomposition. I just looked up that “seaweeds can be found wherever hard substrata occur on which they can attach, although a few species are entirely free-living. Even soft muddy shores have seaweeds as there are always shells or the occasional piece of gravel on which to attach” (Seaweeds of Britain and Ireland by Bunker, Brodie, Maggs & Bunker 2017 2nd edition, Wild Nature Press, Plymouth, UK, page 10).
    Seaweeds attached to rocks and other objects in the intertidal zone can also dry out and turn almost black when exposed to air as the tide goes out but the olive colour is restored once they are wet again. The seaweeds in my pictures are particularly green and succulent because they are new growth in May and at their prime, many with golden green reproductive bodies.

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  5. I thought so as far as edibility (I have eaten it, haven’t I? in Japanese food), but – I don’t know much about it, and if all of them could be (if not I am surprised I don’t see more of it, something to think about). But these were just so bursting with life and freshness, they were exceptional, I thought.


  6. Thank you. The short answer is “yes”, Emma. I feel obliged to give the proper reference if I have quoted from something. Lots of people read the comments on my posts, so extra bits of information that I include in my replies may be useful to those readers as well.

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  7. The Japanese are probably the biggest consumers of seaweed and there are organisations in the States, Britain and Ireland that commercially grow seaweed for export to that market. There are plenty of common species that we do eat maybe without knowing it, although not those shown in these pictures. Irish Moss for example is a frequent thickener for various food products and is even used in a lot of toothpastes. I also remember buying dried red dulse seaweed when I visited the small island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick some years back. A very distinct flavour. When nice and crispy after drying naturally in the sun, it made an interesting snack.

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  8. Yes, I did know that about toothpaste and as a product additive, and I have also the idea there is use of it in beauty products. It’s a foreign plant to me, living inland all my life, and kind of exotic.


  9. I think that most people think of seaweed as something “other” – an altogether different type of organism to which they have may even have an aversion. In our western cultures there is something thought to be unpleasant about slippery slimy things; while the complete opposite is true in more eastern cultures like Japan, particularly in the culinary sense.

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