Tuesday 21 May
Oarweed (Laminaria digitata)
- Oarweed is a species of kelp which can grow up to two metres in length.
- Oarweed attaches to stones and rocky substrates with a holdfast, and can endure the full force of heavy waves.
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Oarweed fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Oarweed (Laminaria digitata), also known as 'tangle' or 'tangleweed' is a familiar glossy golden brown kelp, which grows attached to rocky substrates with a dome-shaped cluster of root-like holdfasts (3). The smooth and flexible stipe (stem) is oval in cross-section, and gives rise to a broad frond that is divided into ribbon-like segments and lacks a midrib (2).
- Length: up to 2 m (2)
This perennial species lives for 4-6 years (2). New growth occurs at the base of the stipe, where it joins to the frond; although growth occurs throughout the year, it seems to be fastest during the spring (3).Kelp beds are important habitats for many other species (2).
Kelps have been used by humans as a source of chemicals, as agricultural fertilisers, and for culinary uses (2).Top
Occurs around the coasts of Britain, but is scarce along parts of the east coast due to a lack of hard substrates and turbidity of the water (2). Elsewhere it is known from the Atlantic coasts of Europe, as well as from Iceland, southern Greenland and the eastern coasts of North America (2).Top
This kelp is characteristic of the lower intertidal and shallow subtidal zones (4), and can reach a depth of 20m in clear water (2). It seems to fare particularly well in moderately exposed areas or where there are strong water currents (2).Top
Common and widespread.Top
This seaweed is not currently threatened.Top
No conservation action has been targeted at this species.Top
Find out more
For more on this species see the Marine Link Information Network (MarLIN) species account:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- Plants that live for at least three seasons; after an initial period they produce flowers once a year.
National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (November, 2002)
Hill, J.M., 2000. Laminaria digitata. Oarweed. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. (August, 2002)
- Fish, J.D. and Fish, S. (1996) A student's guide to the seashore. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
The Seaweed Site. Michael D. Guiry (November, 2002)
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.