Factsheets for Brown Seaweeds (phylum Phaeophyta)

Genus: Nereocystis Trade names: nereocystis Symbol: NR
AuthorityPostels & Ruprecht Type species: n/a
Commercial species:  luetkaena (LUE)
Common names: Black kelp, Bladder Kelp, Bull Kelp, Bullwhip kelp, Cabbage, Giant bull kelp, Giant Kelp, Great kelp, Horsetail Kelp, Ribbon Kelp, Sea onion, Sea Otter's Cabbage, Sea Otters, Sea Whip, Seatron, Serpent kelp
Classification: Eukaryota, Phylum Heterokontophyta, Order Laminariales, Family Lessoniaceae.
AlgaeBase names and species:  2 names - 1 current as of 12-2001.
Comprehensive lists of common names , generic & specific names can be found at AlgaeBase. >>Click here<<  for SuriaLink's policy on names.
SuriaLink SeaPlant Utility Rating
Minor food & polymer source - expansion potential
Agronomy & harvesting must use good  environmental practices.
Nereocystis luetkeana is the only species of this genus. Plants comprise a stipe up to 36 m long attached to the ocean floor by a holdfast composed of numerous haptera and with a single bladder at the sea surface from which branched, smooth fronds arise. Fronds can be up to 4 m long and are usually less than 20 cm. It is generally an annual plant.
Forms kelp forests parallel to the seacoast on rocky substrates from a depth of about 5-30 meters. Create reef habitats that support diverse flora and fauna.

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Nereocystis production
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Tons per annum
wild harvest
Tons per annum
Canada 2 0
USA 20 0


22 0
Approximate annual production figures from recent years are as above.
Biology & Agronomy
Wild harvest from carefully managed beds.
Contains alginates.
We have several monographs in progress covering analytical procedures post-harvest treatment and process technology. Check the processing index for available web pages and monographs. 
Products, Uses & Applications
Source of alginates.
List of species' uses and community affiliations
Genus GenID SpID Species Uses Communities
Nereocystis NR LUE luetkaena FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP

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Nereocystis is most strongly associated with the Agri-Industry and  Biopolymer communities.
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