Friday, August 11, 2017

Looking at rockweed

During a walk with the Comox Vallley Naturalists along the shores of Oyster Bay, we noticed the various shapes of rockweed. One, with long fingers, our guide called "staghorn rockweed".

Rockweed, aka bladderwrack, Fucus distichus?

The rockweed I am used to has short, stubby fingers. I searched through my old photos, to see if I had any of these long ones.

"Normal" rockweed. July, 2009. Probably on the White Rock beach.

June, 2008. Boundary Bay. The little bladders are round and fat. Sometimes they're heart shaped.

July, 2011, from the White Rock beach. Fat bladder faces with two ears.

August, 2015. Probably at Boundary Bay. These ones are longer.

Oyster Bay, July, 2009. Unusual shapes.

According to the websites I visited, these are all probably the same species, or a variant, Fucus distichus subsp. evanescens. Aka. F. gardneri. The name, "staghorn" seems to be an attempt at distinguishing shapes, not an official name.

This is another plant I have been taking for granted, because it is so familiar. I'll have to pay more attention.

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