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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

23 February, 2017

Halidrys siliquosa: the sea oak

Sea oak (Halidrys siliquosa) is common around the coast of the British Isles, usually covered by sea water and only seen at very low spring tides. However, remnants do wash up on the beach and can be from along the strand line from time to time, just like this piece.
Sea oak grows in big bushy structures up to a metre in length and is made up of constantly alternately branch strands. It is not as 'fleshy' as many seaweeds but it does have lance shaped bladders at the tips of each frond to aid buoyancy in the water. The speed of growth and the size it grows to is generally governed by the amount of sunlight it gets.
Extracts of this sea weed are used in skin conditioners and it is semi-cultivated for this purpose
Halidrys siliquosa: the sea oak