Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Lessonia corrugata Lucas 1931: 410.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Laminariales – Family Lessoniaceae

Selected citations: Womersley 1967: 247.

Thallus (Pl. 4 fig. I; Fig. 117B) dark brown, 0.5–2 m high, with numerous blades from the holdfast; epilithic. Holdfast entangled, of compressed prostrate branches 3–10 (–20) mm broad, often anastomosing, and producing subterete haptera mainly from their margins. Stipes becoming erect from the holdfast branches, (1–) 2–20 (–35) cm long, 1–5 times subdichotomous, compressed, (2–) 4–15 mm broad. Blades arising by basal splitting, entire and smooth when young, becoming 0.5–2 m long and (0.5–) 1–3 (–4.5) cm broad, linear, with coarse, marginal, basally broad, upwardly curved, spines 2–6 mm long, surface with 4–10 (–15) deep longitudinal corrugations (Fig. 121A), with the terminal end of the blades disintegrating. Pneumatocysts absent. Structure (Fig. 121B,C) of blades with a central filamentous medulla, a cellular cortex and a surface meristoderm of isodiametric cells, 4–6 µm across in surface view, and L/B 1–2 in sectional view; mucilage cavities (Fig. 121A) small, 1–3 in sectional view in the cortex on the convex side of the corrugations.

Reproduction: Reproduction by linear sori of sporangia and paraphyses in the concavities of the corrugations (Fig. 121B), inconspicuous, with clavate paraphyses 30–80 µm long and 6–10 µm in diameter, packed with physodes, and shorter clavate sporangia (Fig. 121C) 40–60 µm long and 7–10 µ in diameter.

Type from Port Arthur, Tas., 8–10 m deep (Lucas, Sept. 1931); in Herb. Lucas, NSW.

Selected specimens: West Head, Stanley, N. Tas., upper sublittoral (Bennett, 30.i.1955; ADU, A20587). Cape Sorell, Tas., sublittoral fringe (Bennett, 4.ii.1955; ADU, A20596). Orford, Tas., 0–3 m deep (Shepherd, 10.ii.1970; ADU, A35674). Renard Point, Frederick Henry Bay, Tas., 0–3 m deep (Shepherd, 13.ii.1970; ADU, A35562). Safety Cove, Port Arthur, Tas., uppermost sublittoral (Parsons & Womersley, 31.x.1982; ADU, A54525-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 264). Taroona, Hobart, Tas., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 13.i.1949; ADU, 10123).

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

Distribution: Around Tasmania, in situations of moderate to strong water movement, usually from low tide level to 7 m deep, but at Eddystone Rock, off S.E. Tasmania, extending to more than 18 m deep (Edgar 1984, p. 176).

Taxonomic notes: Gametophytes unknown.

L. corrugata is distinguished by the well-defined longitudinal corrugations on the narrow blades. It is most closely related to the smooth-bladed L. variegata J. Agardh from New Zealand.


EDGAR, G.J. (1984). General features of the ecology and biogeography of Tasmanian subtidal rocky shore communities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. 118, 173–186.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1931). Notes on Australian marine algae. VI. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 56, 407–411, Plates 23–27.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1967). A critical survey of the marine algae of southern Australia. II. Phaeophyta. Aust. J. Bot. 15, 189–270.

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: PLATE 4 fig. 1; FIGS 117B, 121 A–C.

Plate 4 image

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PLATE 4 fig. 1. Lessonia corrugata at Safety Cove, Port Arthur, Tas. (ADU, A54525).>
Ecklonia radiata.

Figure 117 image

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Fig. 117. A. Asperococcus bullosus (ADU, A30833). B. Lessonia corrugata (ADU, A54525).

Figure 121 image

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Fig. 121. A–C. Lessonia corrugata (A, ADU, A54525; B,C, ADU, A35562). A. Transverse section of thallus with corrugations, cortex with mucilage cavities, and filamentous medulla. B. Transverse section of thallus showing position of a sporangial sorus. C. Detail of transverse section with unilocular sporangia and paraphyses, cortex, and filamentous medulla. D,E. Macrocystis pyrifera (ADU, A56452). D. Transverse section (diagrammatic) of stipe. E. Detail of transverse section of thallus with unilocular sporangia and paraphyses, cortex, and filamentous medulla. F–H. Macrocystis angustifolia ( F, ADU, A16088; G,H, ADU, A57134). F. Detail of transverse section of thallus with unilocular sporangia and paraphyses, cortex, and filamentous medulla. G,H. Gametophytes from culture, G female, H male. I–K. Ecklonia radiata (I, ADU, A57144; J,K, ADU, A57135). I. Detail of transverse section of thallus with unilocular sporangia and paraphyses, and cortex. J,K. Gametophytes from culture, J female, K male.

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