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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Cystophora brownii (Turner) J. Agardh 1848: 241; 1896: 48.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Fucales – Family Cystoseiraceae

Selected citations: Harvey 1860: pl. 169. Womersley 1964: 78, fig. 18, pl. 6 fig. 1.


Fucus brownii Turner 1819: 2, pl. 197.

Thallus (Fig. 142A) dark brown to grey-brown, 20–60 cm long, complanately and rigidly branched. Holdfast discoid-conical, 5–15 mm across; epilithic. Primary axes coarse, compressed, 3–7 (–10) mm broad and (1–) 2–4 mm thick, closely and alternately distichously branched from the face of the axis, below with prominent residues of secondary axes or laterals; secondary and tertiary axes numerous, retroflex, slenderer than the primary axis, usually with broad basal wings. Laterals 4–10 cm long, alternately distichous in the one plane, the whole lateral usually tapering in form from base to apex; ramuli (Fig. 145A) rigid, terete to slightly compressed, with prominently rounded axils, (0.2–) 0.5–2 cm long and 300–600 /2m in diameter. Vesicles absent.

Reproduction: Thalli monoecious. Receptacles (Fig. 145A) developed from ends of ramuli, simple, 2–6 (–10) mm long and 0.5–1 mm in diameter, smooth to distinctly torulose, tapering. Conceptacles bisexual, few (4–8) per receptacle, ostioles usually scattered, occasionally in 2 or 3 rows, with simple paraphyses; oogonia sessile, ovoid, 95–150 µ long and 70–110 µm in diameter; antheridia sessile or on branched paraphyses, elongate-ovoid, 22–30 µm long and 8–12 µm in diameter.

Type from King George Sound, W. Aust. (R. Brown); in BM.

Selected specimens: Port Denison, W. Aust., drift ( Womersley, 31.viii.1947; ADU, A5862). Cape Naturaliste, W. Aust., uppermost sublittoral (Womersley, Clarke & Engler, 2.ix.1979; ADU, A50623). Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand, W. Aust., upper sublittoral ( Womersley, 4.x.1979; ADU, A51148). Pearson Is, S. Aust., 5–12 m deep (Shepherd, 8.i.1969; ADU, A34064). Cape Carnot, S. Aust., pools on reefs ( Womersley, 8.i.1951; ADU, A13833). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., drift ( Womersley, 2.x.1963; ADU, A26792). Middle R., Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 21.i.1948; ADU, A6780). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., in large pool, S. side Ellen Point ( Womersley, 24.viii.1963; ADU, A26713). Ransons Beach, E. of Waterhouse Point, N. Tas. (Moscal, 22.xi.1983; HO, 88244).

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 Victor Harbor and around Kangaroo I., S. Aust.; N.E. Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: C. brownii is often plentiful in the upper sublittoral and deeper pools on coasts of moderate wave action, extending to a few metres deep. It is characterised by the coarse axes, retroflex bases to secondary axes, rigid laterals and ramuli, and very short receptacles. The single Tasmanian record is the only one east of Victor Harbor, S. Aust.


AGARDH, J.G. (1848). Species, Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 1. (Gleerup: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1896). Analecta Algologica. Cont. III. Ada Univ. lund. 32, 1–140, Plate 1.

HARVEY, W.H. (1860). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 3, Plates 121–180. (Reeve: London.)

TURNER, D. (1819). Fuci sive Plantarum Fucorum Generi a Botanicis Ascriptarum Icones Descriptiones et Historia. Vol. 4, pp. 1–153, Plates 197–258. (London.)

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1964). The morphology and taxonomy of Cystophora and related genera (Phaeophyta). Aust. J. Bot. 12, 53–110, Plates 1–16.

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (14 December, 1987)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Part II
©Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, Government of South Australia

Illustrations in Womersley Part II, 1997: FIGS 142A, 145A.

Figure 142 image

Figure 142   enlarge

Fig. 142. A. Cystophora brownii (ADU, A5862). B. Cystophora gracilis (ADU, A26725, holotype).

Figure 145 image

Figure 145   enlarge

Fig. 145. Receptacles of species of Cystophora. A. Cystophora brownii (ADU, A26713). B,C. Cystophora gracilis (ADU, A26725, holotype). D. Cystophora harveyi (ADU, A50628, holotype). E. Cystophora tenuis (ADU, A50627, holotype). F,G. Cystophora retorta (ADU, A26877). F. Secondary and tertiary axes and laterals. G. Receptacles. H. Cystophora siliquosa (ADU, A2812).

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