Phylum: Phaeophyta

Class: Phaeophyceae

Order: Laminariales

Family: Alariaceae

Pterygophora californica (Ruprecht)


Description:  This plant has a large stout holdfast of branched root-like structures, and a woody stipe up to 2 m. long and 2 cm. in diameter.  The stipe is terete below and flattened at the apex.  A terminal flat, smooth blade arises from the apex of the stipe; it is linear, 6-10 cm. wide, 60-90 cm. long, and tapers in the attachment region.  Sporophylls are pinnately arranged along the two sides of the flattened portion of the stipe.  The sporophylls are linear, approximately the same shape and size as the terminal blade; up to 20 occur on each side.


Habitat:  On rocks in the upper subtidal zone and down to a depth of about 5 fathoms.


Pacific Coast Distribution:  British Columbia to Mexico.

                                                                                      Robert Scagel, 1972


Star-shaped scars left  from sea urchin bites

Strongylocentrotus purpuratus a kelp grazer

S. droebachiensis another grazer on P. californica sporophylls

L. saccharina and a brooding anemone on the stipe of P. californica

L. saccharina and other kelp species on the stipe of P. californica

More scarring left from the Aristotle’s lanterns of sea urchins

An epiphytic rhodophyte

Another epiphytic rhodophyte

A third epiphytic rhodophyte species

Several epiphytic N. luetkeana near the apex of a P. californica

Many young N. luetkeana at the apex of a P. californica individual

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