Green algae (Charophyta and Chlorophyta)

Green algae are mostly aquatic organisms of marine or freshwater habitats, although they include certain groups which grow on soil, trees or rocks.

Chara vulgaris

Chara vulgaris var longibracteata, showing very long bract cells © Chris Carter.

Charophytes

Green algae in the group Charophyta are commonly known as charophytes. They include many freshwater and terrestrial green algae.

Chara and other stoneworts are among the largest and most structurally complex of the charophytes. Their main branches have whorls of short lateral branchlets at intervals. They usually grow submerged in mainly still, fresh or slightly brackish waters.

Chlorophytes

Green algae in the group Chlorophyta are commonly known as chlorophytes.

A specimen of Ulva arasakii collected from Japan

A specimen of Ulva arasakii collected from Japan.

They include marine green algae, such as the common seaweed Ulva lactuca,‘sea lettuce’, which can form a conspicuous element of sea shores.

Other members of the group are freshwater species, such as desmids and some Spirogyra.

Learn more about these organisms on the AlgaeVision webpages.

AlgaeVision - UK algal image database

Images

Chara desmacantha

Chara desmacantha

Closterium dianae

Closterium dianae

Coccomyxa confluens

Coccomyxa confluens

Haematococcus pluvialis

Haematococcus pluvialis

Halimeda copiosa

Halimeda copiosa

Hydrodictyon reticulatum

Hydrodictyon reticulatum

Micrasterias rotata

Micrasterias rotata

Spirogyra

Spirogyra

Staurodesmus convergens

Staurodesmus convergens

Trentepohlia umbrina

Trentepohlia umbrina

Volva

Volva

Micrasterias crux melitensis

Micrasterias crux melitensis