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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!

14 February, 2017

Ulva lactuca: the sea lettuce

The sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) can be found all around the British Isles and can be seen on all kinds of shore lines from sandy beaches to rock cliffs, from shallows to deep water. Most frequently it will be seen as fragments washed up on the tide strand line. It grows in large in large drifting forests.
The sea lettuce has broad but very thin 'leaves' which are bright green, the stipe which attached it to its footing is very short. If thoroughly cleaned sea lettuce can be eaten raw just like lettuce you might grow in your garden or buy in the supermarket but, of course, it is not related. It was just named sea lettuce because it is green and edible. It can be cooked and used to make soup, or can be served boiled with fish or meat. In some areas of the world it is harvested and used as a crop fertiliser. A versatile plant to have around even if you rarely see it!