Hawai'i Coral Reef Network

Marine Plants of Hawai'i

Order Ceramiales

Acanthophora spicifera


Description: 1-3mm solid cylindrical branches. Covered with many distinctive small spine-like branches. Red, brown or dark green in color but turns yellow in bright sunlight.
Size: 3-20 cm high.
Habitat: abundant in calm shallow reef flats, tide pools and intertidal benches.
Photograph: Onekahakaha Beach Park, Hilo Hawai'i. 1996

Amansia glomerata
Description:  bush-like with dark red central stipe and flattened blades 3-7mm wide. Often covered with epiphytic crustose coralline seaweeds giving off a pink appearance.
Size: grows to 15cm tall is
Habitat: widespread in shaded areas of almost any habitat.

Centroceras clavulatum
Description: Y shaped branches and usually dark red in appearance. Size is 1mm diameter with two branches often curving upward, creating a claw-like appearance
Size: up to 0.5-5cm long.
Habitat: grows in tufts and mats in lower tidal habitats tidepools and reef flats.

Laurencia nidifica
Description: cylindrical branches with blunt tips with a tiny pit in each tip. Color is highly variable, often branches are rosy-straw colored with red tips.
Size: main branches 1-2mm diameter and 2-20cm long.
Habitat: on reef flats and lower intertidal habitats along rocky coastlines.

Martensia fragilis
Description: flat seaweed. May be completely solid and smooth or divided into a fine lacelike network on outer portion.  Variable color: pink to orange, to bluish iridescence.
Size: 1-8 cm high.
Habitat: common in tidepools and reef flats.

Spyridia filamentosa
Description: covered with any soft fine branches creating a fuzzy appearance red to almost white in color, but often traps fine sediment that can make it appear many different colors.
Size: 0.5-2mm in diameter
Habitat: in calm inner areas of reef flats. Soft thick mats can cover large areas of the reef flat.

Tolypiocladia glomerulata  
Description: filamentous red that forms loose mats from 0.3-1 cm thick. Main branches are 0.5 mm in diameter with many smaller branches growing out from them. In deeper water it is dark red in shallow water it appears pale red. Has distinctive tree-like branching pattern.
Size: forms mats 2-5 cm wide
Habitat: on rubble and coral heads in subtidal habitats.
Photograph: Puhi Bay, Hilo Hawai'i. 1996


Last update: 1/25/2005