Endocladia muricata is red to almost black in color. A thallus can grow to be 4-6 cm in height with irregularly arranged branching patterns. Within its habitat range the height of fronds can vary from one location to anther. For example, during the spring fronds are much taller at Botanical Beach, British Columbia, Canada compared to the fronds found at Friday Harbor, Washington. Inner fronds are generally taller than outer fronds due to differences in time spent photosynthesizing. More information about inner and outer frond photosynthesis can be found on the fairy rings page. The branches are 0.5 mm in diameter and are covered with small spines that are 0.5 mm in length. The main axis of each thallus is attached to a small discoid holdfast (1). Endocladia muricata appears to have a harsh texture due to its spiny morphology (2).
Branches and branchlets of Endocladia muricata. Magnification 0.8X on a dissecting scope.
Close up view of branch with spines. Magnification 10X on a compound scope.
Endocladia muricata grows from an apical meristem. The apical cell is at the tip of the branch as seen in the photo to the left.
Photo taken using a compound microscope. Magnification 20X.