Flustra foliacea (Linnaeus, 1758) is a cheilostome marine bryozoan that is commonly found along the strand line, or high-tide mark, around the British coast especially after storms.
It has a distinctive lemon-like smell when fresh.
Known as the broad-leaved hornwrack, this bryozoan forms bushy flexible colonies 6–20cm in height, that are light grey-brown in colour.
It is often mistaken for a seaweed.
Bryozoans consist of individuals called zooids that form a colony. Find out how you can identify Flustra foliacea colonies.
This bryozoan is found in cold water areas on stony ground and forms a rich microhabitat for other animals. Find out more.
Flustra can grow for at least 12 years and forms annual growth lines, similar to rings in a tree.
Get reference material for Flustra foliacea.
Base of Flustra where it adheres to substrate.© Natural History Museum, London
Flustra foliacea fronds.© Natural History Museum, London
Electra pilosa encrusting Flustra foliacea.© Natural History Museum, London
Flustra foliacea habitat.© Dorset Seasearch
Original description of Flustra foliacea from Linnaeus, 1758.© Natural History Museum, London
R Hooke's Micrographia.© Natural History Museum, London
R Hooke's microscope.© Natural History Museum, London
Structure of Flustra foliacea.© Natural History Museum, London