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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Landlady's wig Desmarestia aculeata

This large seaweed has narrow brown fronds with many side-branches. Its bushy appearance is the reason for its common name of landlady’s wig. The smallest branches are short and spine-like, hence the species name aculeata, which means “prickled.” In summer, the whole plant is covered with delicate branched hairs. This species is particularly abundant on boulders and in kelp forests disturbed by waves.

Landlady’s wig habitat mapzoom image
  • Kingdom Phaeophyta
  • Length Up to 6 ft (1.8 m)
  • Habitat Subtidal rocks, and kelp forests
  • Water_temperature 32–64°F (0–18°C)
  • Distribution Near coasts in temperate, cold, and polar regions