Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Ulva title image


Ulva is a genus of algae that includes species that look like bright green sheets and live primarily in marine environments.  They can also be found in brackish water, particularly estuaries.  They live attached to rocks in the middle to low intertidal zone, and as deep as 10 meters in calm, protected harbors. Ulva are usually seen in dense groups.  Commonly known as the sea lettuce or the green laver, Ulva species can be eaten in soups and salads, and used as a substitute for nori (Porphyra), the popular seaweed in sushi.  Ten species of Ulva exist worldwide, all of which have representation on the coast of California.  The shapes of Ulva are quite varied- circular to oval to long and narrow, ranging in size from microscopic to 65 cm.  They have fine, silky textures with waved or ruffled margins.  The delicate blades of Ulva are usually only 40 microns thick.


 ©Anna Kirby 2001  

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009