Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sea Palms, Northern California, 2009.

A stand of sea palms, Pigeon Point. Sea Palms are remarkably tough little alga, battered constantly by the surf. This photo was taken just as the water was draining from the rock where they are anchored. I am fascinated with this alga, so I am including an excerpt from Wikipedia:

The sea palm was known by the natives of California by the name of Kakgunu-chale before any Europeans entered the region. Postelsia was first scientifically described by Franz Josef Ruprecht (1814-1870) in 1852 from a specimen found near Bodega Bay in California. Ruprecht, an Austro-Hungarian who became curator of botany at the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg in 1839, studied seaweed specimens collected by botanist Ilya Vosnesensky, and published a paper describing one seagrass and five seaweeds, one of which was Postelsia

The binomial name of the sea palm, Postelsia palmaeformis, represents two things. The generic name honors Alexander Philipov Postels, an Estonian-born geologist and artist who worked with Ruprecht, while the specific name describes the alga's similarity in appearance to true palms.

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