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Species Guide » 01. Green algae » Ulva rigida ca / es

Scientific name: Ulva rigida

C. Agardh

Common Name: Cat: Enciam de mar; Cast: Lechuga de mar, xebra, lavacán; Eng: Sea lettuce

Group: 01. Green algae

Area type: Shallow dive

Depth: Down to 10 m

Measures: From 5 to 35 cm

How does is it look like?

This brilliant green alga gets the name of sea lettuce due to its similar aspect with this terrestrial vegetable. It has a thick and cartilaginous base and forms broad sheets that meet on a small fixing disc. It measures from 5 to 35cm of height.


Where does it live?

It lives in rocky bottoms, from the surface up to 10 metres depth; this is, in medium and under littoral. It lives in places with many organic matter and surge, even contaminated zones. It is found the whole year, but its maximum growth is between winter and spring. It is opportunist specie. You can sometimes find it near Cladophora species.


How does it reproduce?

By asexual reproduction in fission way, fragmentation or using zoospores, and by sexual reproduction with gametes that can photosynthesize. Because of this, this alga has a great skill in its dispersion and colonization, even before developing totally.


Is there any confusion?

No. Due to its aspect of leaf of greenish plastic, it is unmistakable enough.



This alga can be an indicative of pollution in water or environmental alteration. It is also used as an ingredient in Japanese receipts. Ulva rigida is of a bit hard consistency, so it must be softened by salt or cooked and then already it's possible to use it as salad, for soups or stews, in its entire form or lyophilized.



Kingdom: Plantae, Subkingdom: Viridiaeplantae, Phylum: Chlorophyta, Class: Ulvophyceae, Order: Ulvales, Family: Ulvaceae, Genus: Ulva

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