Corallina officinalis (common coral weed)

Corallina officinalis is a calcified red seaweed, a coralline alga commonly  found in rock pools on seashores around the world. 

Corallina officinalis belongs to a large group of calcified seaweeds with more than 564 species that are found on seashores and in seas around the world.

Corallina officinalis is a jointed or geniculate coralline alga. Other species of coralline algae are crustose species and look like someone has painted the rocks with pink or mauve paint.

Other species of coralline algae can form deposits known as maerl beds. These are extremely important habitats for other organisms. Maerl is also commercially exploitable as a source of lime and trace minerals in the agricultural, horticultural and medical industries. 

Species detail

Fronds of Corallina officinalis grow in tufts that develop from a flat coralline base.  They are segmented to provide flexibility in seawater.  The fronds are also oppositely branched

This seaweed is a dull purple but its colour can vary depending on the conditions.  It can appear red, yellow or white when bleached in bright light.

  • corallina officinalis with conceptacles
    Taxonomy

    This seaweed grows in tufts from a coralline base. Its colour varies. Find out why.

  • corallina officinalis
    Distribution and habitat

    Corallina officinalis occurs in the North Atlantic, often forming distinct zones below the rim of rock pools.

  • Corallina officinalis
    Biology

    Seaweed life histories are complex, but fascinating. Find out more about the reproductive cycle of Corallina officinalis.

  • maerl
    Conservation

    Corallina officinalis may in future be affected by ocean acidification, but for now it does not appear to be threatened.

  • tetrasporangium-in-conceptacle
    References

    Get references for Corallina officinalis.

Images

corallina-officinalis

Corallina officinalis.

© A M Mortensen
corallina-officinalis

Corallina officinalis

© J Brodie
Corallina officinalis with conceptacles

Corallina officinalis with conceptacles.

© A M Mortensen
Conceptacle

Conceptacle.

© R Walker
tetrasporangium-in-conceptacle

Tetrasporangium in conceptacle

© J Brodie
Released tetrasporangium

Released tetrasporangium.

© R Walker
Growing tip coralline alga

Growing tip coralline alga.

© R Walker
Lithothamnion glaciale northern maerl

Lithothamnion glaciale northern maerl.

© J Brodie
Phymatolithon purpurem

Phymatolithon purpurem.

© J Brodie
crustose-corallines-rock-pool

Crustose corallines in rock pool.

© J Brodie
Crustose corallines lower shore

Crustose corallines on lower shore.

© J Brodie
Corallina caespitosa

Corallina caespitosa

© J Brodie
corallina elongata

Corallina elongata.

© J Brodie
Corallina elongata

Corallina elongata.

© J Brodie
Corallina elongata

Corallina elongata.

© J Brodie
Author
Photo of Juliet Brodie
Prof Juliet Brodie

Research Chair, Division of Genomic and Microbial Diversity, Department of Life Sciences.

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