Laminaria ochroleuca Bachelot de la Pylaie

Also known as Golden Kelp (English); Laminaria pallida var. iberica Hamel.

Description: 1.5-2 m in length when mature; frond borne on a stiff, erect, cylindrical stipe that snaps when it is bent, rarely with heavy covering of epithpytes; stipe expanding to a single frond with a golden-brown colour, particulalry at the base of the frond in the area of growth; frond generally cleft into irregular laciniate segments.
Distinguishing features:
Similar to Laminaria hyperborea but with lighter-coloured fronds. Caution is required in identification as young plants of Laminaria hyperboreaare often light-coloured. Records from areas with no previous records require DNA confirmation.
Habitat: ELWS to 20 m.
Distribution: W Ireland (rare and only recently reported) and SW Britain (since 1940s) sound to Morocco, Canary Islands Spanish Sahara; records from Namibia require further investigation in relation to Laminaria pallida Greville. Since the 1940s the species seems to be extending its range northwards, perhaps aided by leisure craft.
Photograph: ELWS, Salcome, Devon, UK. © M.D. Guiry

Species list