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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!

27 February, 2017

Laminaria digitata: oarweed

Oarweed (Laminaria digitata) probably gets its common name from its shape but given it can form large masses of entangled weed it may have got its name from oarsmen having problems rowing through it with it catching their oars in the water! My reference material is not clear on the subject.
Oarweed certainly resembles a large paddle. It has a long, broad 'blade' up to 4 feet long and a shorter 'handle' about a foot long. The blades are large leathery structures that collapse under their own weight at low tide in to a slimy, slippery blanket on rocks making them perilous to walk across. They form large colonies and provide shelter for many other underwater creatures and plants.
Common around rocky coasts and not uncommon in Dorset.
Laminaria digitata: oarweed