Giant Kelp

Macrocystis pyrifera

brown colored kelp leaves and bulbs floating in dark blue-green water

Common Name: Giant Kelp

Scientific Name: Macrocystis pyrifera

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family: Chromista, Ochrophyta, Phaeophyceae, Laminariales, Laminariaceae

Habitat: Dense kelp forest, rocky shores, depths from 6-30 meters

Range: Alaska to Baja California

Identification: Up to 50 meters long, large bumpy blades and smooth bulbs, copper/yellow coloration, large conical holdfast

Growth: up to 2 feet a day

Fact: One of the largest algae. Kelp forests create important complex habitat that supports more than 275 species of microscopic algae and animals, not including other larger animals that rely on it for shelter, and food.

mass of kelp floating on the surface of water
Citations:Graham, M. H., et al. 2009.Mondragon, Jennifer, and Jeff Mondragon, 2003.