Our Marine Algae
“Algae is a plant with chlorophyll that lives for the most part between the tidal zone and the fluvial limit of light penetration. It generally attaches itself to rocky bottoms, to shells, or to other algae, and is nourished directly from the nutrients in the seawater.
Medicinal properties: Algae is rich in iodine; vitamins A, B, and C; iron; calcium; and mineral salts. It is also used for its antibiotic, emollient, laxative, disinfectant, toning and remineralizing properties.”
(Source : Les Jardins de la mer, Claudie Gagné)
It is impossible to walk along the beaches of Cacouna without coming across some of the algae illustrated here.
- Blade kelp: large kelp that can reach lengths of 12 metres! Can be found starting at the low tide line, but after strong winds and high waves, can sometimes be found all over the beach amongst other species that have also been ripped up and deposited by the latest tide. It is also known as ‘kombu’.
- Sea lace: long, skinny algae that can reach lengths of 5 metres. Can also be found on our beaches, deposited after a particularly strong tide.
- Knotted wrack, Rockweeds and Bladder wrack are 3 species occurring in abundance clinging to the bedrock along the beaches in the entire intertidal zone. They can easily be identified by the presence or absence of floaters (air bladders) along the surface (blade) of the plant and by the number of these. Commonly called ‘rockweed’, this algae, which accumulated on the beaches at the high tide mark, was, for a long time, collected by local farmers to be used as fertilizer in gardens and fields.
Hollow green weed: the most common species of green algae. Light green in colour, it looks like hair stuck to the stones in the mud flat area of the beaches.
Irish moss: densely tufted plant; dark red in colour, sometimes green or yellowish; whiteish when the algae is dead. Resembles parsley.
Dulse: this edible red algae is used in soups or eaten as chips when dried and flaked.
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