Ulva intestinalis

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Ulva intestinalis
Tufts of gutweed in Gullmarsfjorden at Sämstad 1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Phylum: Chlorophyta
Class: Ulvophyceae
Order: Ulvales
Family: Ulvaceae
Genus: Ulva
U. intestinalis
Binomial name
Ulva intestinalis
  • Enteromorpha intestinalis
Large green lumps of Ulva intestinalis floating among other brown algae in Brofjorden

Ulva intestinalis is a green alga in the family Ulvaceae, known by the common names sea lettuce, gutweed [1] and grass kelp.[2] Until they were reclassified by genetic work completed in the early 2000s, the tubular members of the sea lettuce genus Ulva were placed in the genus Enteromorpha.[3]


Generally world-wide.[4] It can be found in Bering Sea near Alaska, Aleutian islands, Puget Sound, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Philippines,and Russia.[5] Besides this, places it can be found in Israel, and in such European countries as Azores, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Poland, and in such seas as the Baltic, and Mediterranean Sea. It is also found in the shores of the Pacific Ocean including in New Zealand.[6][7]


The fronds have branches and are completely tubular expanding in width to mid-thallus, reaching 15 cm long or more. The cells are irregularly arranged and the chloroplast is hood-shaped and placed to one side, generally with only one pyrenoid.[3][4] The species may be 10–30 centimetres (3.9–11.8 in) long and 6–18 millimetres (0.24–0.71 in) wide. They have rounded tips as well.[8] The algae may be reproductive at all times of the year. The life-history shows an alteration of generations, isomorphic - gametophytic and sporophytic.[4] In some references the species (Ulva intestinalis) is treated as two subspecies: ssp. intestinalis (L.) Link and ssp. compressa (L.) Link.[4][9]

In other languages[edit]


  1. ^ Gutweed - Enteromorpha intestinalis
  2. ^ Grass-kelp, Gutweed Archived 2015-06-20 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Guiry, M.D., John, D.M., Rindi, F. and McCarthy, T.K. (Eds) 2007. New Survey of Clare Island. Volume 6: The Freshwater and Terrestrial Algae. p. 23. Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 978-1904890-31-7
  4. ^ a b c d Burrows, E.M. 1991. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Volume 2 Chlorophyta. British Museum (Natural History). ISBN 0-565-00981-8
  5. ^ "Ulva intestinalis". Seaweeed of Alaska. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Guiry, M.D. (2012). "Ulva intestinalis Linnaeus, 1753". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  7. ^ W. A., Nelson (2013). New Zealand seaweeds : an illustrated guide. Wellington, New Zealand: Te Papa Press. p. 42. ISBN 9780987668813. OCLC 841897290.
  8. ^ "Gut weed - Ulva intestinalis". Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  9. ^ Morton, O. 1994. Marine Algae of Northern Ireland. Ulster Museum ISBN 0 900761 28 8

External links[edit]