Rockweed, Bladderwrack, Popweed

Fucus gardneri

Color: Brown (Yellowish to Olive)
Shape: Branching, Pod-like
Texture: Bumpy 
Size: Up to 2’
Zone: Intertidal  
Range: Alaska to California

Description: This abundant seaweed is distinguished by the mitten-shaped hollow liquid or gas-filled pods at the ends of mature branches. The pods have a bumpy exterior. Rockweed has a disc shaped holdfast and half-inch blades with a midrib that branch off two by two. Young branches may appear flat and without the pods on the ends. Rockweed prefers rocky terrain. 

Edibility: Young tips are tasty fresh or blanched. Can also be dried. Eat in moderation. 

Distinctive characteristics: If you squeeze the mature pods, they will make a popping sound. 

Collection notes:

Phylum: Phaeophyta (Brown Algae)
Previous names: Fucus distichus, Fucus evanescens
Similar species: Fucus spiralis, Pelvetiopsis limitata (Dwarf Rockweed)

Leave a Reply