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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Struvea plumosa Sonder 1845:50; 1846: 151.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Anadyomenaceae

Selected citations: Harvey 1858: p1. 32. Womersley 1956: 377.


S. macrophylla Harvey 1855c:564; 1858: pl. 7.

Thallus (Fig. 73B) light to medium green, 3–15 (–20) cm high, epilithic, with a mass of densely clustered, elongate-clavate stipe cells each 2–8 cm long and (1–) 2–4 (–5) mm in diameter, often broadest in their mid part, with numerous annular constrictions throughout their length or confined to their upper and lower narrower parts; thallus often remaining as the basal stipes only, especially near the distributional margins, in shallow water and in winter. Blades (Fig. 73B) produced from ends of stipes, largely complanate, ovate to elongate, sometimes obovate, reticulate, 1–10 (–17) cm long and 0.5–4 (–12) cm across. Axial row of blade cells (1–) 2–6 (–10) mm long and 0.3–1.5 mm in diameter, each producing from its apex opposite primary branches of smaller cells except for the outermost few which curve towards the blade apex (Fig. 73C) and attach to a subapical cell of the next anterior primary row, producing only inner (adaxial) secondary branches; most primary cells producing opposite secondary branches which grow towards the primary rows above and below, attaching to a primary cell or the base of a secondary cell to give a zig-zag appearance (Fig 73B, C); tertiary cells formed similarly but often not attaching to secondary cells; all branches of the net lie in essentially one plane but distortion due to crowding frequently occurs; attachment of younger to older cells by means of small, isodiametric tenacula cells; chloroplast openly reticulate, with numerous pyrenoids.

Reproduction: Reproduction unknown.

Type from W. Aust. (Preiss); in MEL, 502116.

Selected specimens: Port Denison, W. Aust., 2m deep on jetty pile (Ricker & Kraft, 11.xii.1980; ADU, A51959). Grant Str. reef, Cottesloe, W. Aust., in pothole (Smith, 27.xi.1944; ADU, A2043). Ward I., S. Aust., 13–17 m deep (Shepherd, 3.iii.1980; ADU, A50877-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 169b). Elliston, S. Aust., low eulittoral just inside bay (Womersley, 9.i.1976; ADU, A4677 I-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 169). Pearson I., S. Aust., 12 m deep (Turner, 27.iii.1982; ADU, A53069). 4 km W. of Cape Dutton, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 9 m deep (Ottaway, 18.i.1979; ADU, A50266). Encounter Bay, S. Aust., uppermost sublittoral pools (Parsons, 15.i.1968; ADU, A32266).

Distribution map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of SA

Distribution: From Port Denison, W. Aust. around southern Australia to Encounter Bay (Victor Harbor), S. Aust., from about low tide level to 33 m deep.

Taxonomic notes: S. plumosa is one of the most distinctive of the southern Australian marine algae and shows remarkable seasonal development of the complanate nets from the often densely massed stipes. The latter by themselves are scarcely recognizable as Struvea and are remarkably similar to the basal stipes of Apjohnia laetevirens.


HARVEY, W.H. (1855c). Some Account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Ir. Acad. 22, 525–566.

HARVEY, W.H. (1858). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 1, Plates 1–60. (Reeve: London.)

SONDER, O.W. (1845). Nova algarum genera et species quas in itinere ad oras occidentales Novae Hollandiae, collegit L. Preiss, Ph.Dr. Bot. Ztg 3, 49–57.

SONDER, O.W. (1846). Algae. In C. Lehmann, Plantae Preissianae. Vol. 2, pp. 148–160. (Hamburg.)

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1956). A critical survey of the marine algae of southern Australia. I. Chlorophyta. Aust. J. mar. freshw. Res. 7, 343–383.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part I complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (31 May, 1984)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Part I
©Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, Government of South Australia

Illustration in Womersley Part I, 1984: FIG. 73B,C.

Figure 73 image

Figure 73   enlarge

Fig. 73. A. Anadyomene stellata. Frond from culture (ADU, A49506). B,C. Struvea plumosa. B. A well developed plant (ADU, A51959). C. Details of margin of net (ADU, A50877).

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