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Carbasea carbasea is a boreal and artic species that occurs throughout Britain, Ireland, and the North Sea. C. carbasea forms small erect tufts up to 12 cm high which are light brown to yellowish in colour with a paper-like texture. The fronds are flattened, but broaden into rounded lobes towards the tip. The fronds of C. carbasea are less palmate and typically more delicate and flexible than those of Flustra.
Carbasea carbasea attaches to hard substrates including stones and shells by an encursting basal portionof the colony. Colonies are predominantly found in the subtidal, but may often be washed-up along the coastline, particularly after storms.