Rhodymenia holmesii Ardissone

Also known as Rhodymenia pseudopalmata var. ellisiae (Duby) Guiry
English name: Holmes's Rose Weed.
Description: Thinly fleshy, dark red, flattened, flaccid fronds, regularly dichotomously branched (up to 5 times) with narrow angles in the forks, to 80 mm long and 5 mm broad. Fronds arising from a small stipe borne on creeping stoloniferous growths. When present, it usually occurs in relatively extensive stands.
Habitat: Epilithic, stolons ramifying in sponges and in soft rocks; lower intertidal and subtidal to 25 m. Widespread, rare. Widely distributed but uncommon on southern western and north-western coasts of Ireland and Britain. South to northern Spain and perhaps Morocco.
Similar species: Rhodymenia ardissonei, Rhodymenia pseudopalmata and Schottera nicaeensis.

Photographs: East of the Skerries, Portrush, Co. Antrim, Ireland; August 2013 © Francis Bunker