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 A conspicuous crimson seaweed up to 30 cm in length. Blades are oval or lanceolate, leaf like and reminiscent of beech leaves. The membranous lamina has a wavy margin and is supported by a conspicuous midrib with opposite pairs of lateral veins. The irregularly shaped, thickened holdfast (about 0.5 cm in diameter) gives rise to a short cylindrical stipe about 1 cm long. The stipe branches sparingly giving rise to spirally arranged blades (about 1.5 - 4 cm wide). The leaves may be pointed in young specimens. In autumn the membranous lamina is lost so that only the midrib remains. Reproductive bodies (e.g. cystocarp) develop on the naked midrib. Cystocarp are globular, with a membranous border, and form in fairly close formation on a short stalks on female plants. Carpogonia on female plants are fertilised during October but carpospores are not released until February. New fronds may grow before all reproductive structures disappear. Reproductive leaflets also grow on the denuded midrib in male and asexual plants. On the male plants tetrasporangial bladelets appear in November and tetraspores released in January and February [Kain & Bates, 1993]. Very wave battered plants may be confused with Phycodrys rubens (q.v.) which has lobed or toothed blades.Young specimens may be confused with Apoglossum ruscifolium (q.v.) or Hypoglossum hypoglossoides (q.v.) although these species lack the conspicuous lateral veins of Delesseria sanguinea. Wave eroded (battered) specimens may resemble Phycodrys rubens. However, true Phycodrys rubens has lobed or toothed blades and reproductive structures are born on mature blades.

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©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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