The Turkish Towel  
  FHL Marine Botany  ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::   Taxonomy | Habitat | Morphology | Life History | Ecology | Carrageenan


Entire thallus ~30cm long

Intricate filamentous medullary cells, image ~1200 micrometers long

Transition from smaller exterior cortex cells to larger inner medullary cells, image ~1200 micrometers long.

Close up of nipple-like papillae, each ~ 2mm tall



  • Mature thalli are typically between 20 and 70 cm tall.
  • Mature blades are lanceolate to oblong with acute apex, can be branched or unbranched, 6-20cm wide
  • Fleshy/crispy, 0.2-3 mm thick blade
  • Yellow-green to red-purple in color
  • Stipe is about 2-3 cm long, frequently bearing lateral bladelets
  • Apophysis, the area of transition between stipe and blade, is flattened and fleshy
  • Surface covered in bumpy outgrowths (papillae)
  • 1 or 2 cystocarps per papilla, sometimes with spines
  • Tetrasporanial sori borne at base of slender, elongate papillae with thin attenuating tips.
  • Red cortex cells; 5-7 cell layers thick on each side with clear medulla inbetween
  • Medullary cells vary in shape and size (1.5-24mm in width), can be very intricate filaments(see image to the left, ~ 1200 micrometers wide) (
  • Growth is multi-axial ( Abbot et al.1976)


Abbott, Isabella A. and Hollenberg, George J. Marine Algae of California. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1976,