Factsheets for Brown Seaweeds (phylum Phaeophyta)

Genus: Sargassum Trade names: sargassum Symbol: SA
AuthorityC. Agardh Type species: Sargassum natans (Linnaeus) Gaillon
Commercial species:  aquifolium (AQU), crassifolium (CRF), filipendula (FII), gramminifolium (GRM), henslowianum (HEN), horneri (HOR), ilicifolium (ILI), mcclurei (MCC), myriocystum (MYR), oligocystum (OLI), polycystum (POL), siliquosum (SIQ), wightii (WIG), vachelliannum (VAC) & spp.
Common names: Agar-agar koepan, Beerentang, Binder's sargassum weed, Cattle sargassum weed, Ginbaso, Gulf weed, Holly Limu, Hondawara, Hondawara, Horsetail tangle, Kala-lauli`I, Kala-launui, Limu Honu, Limu kala, Mojaban, Narrowleaf sargassum weed, Qunbar al-ma, Qunbar al-ma, Qunbar al-ma, Sargassum weed
Classification: Eukaryota, Phylum Heterokontophyta, Order Fucales, Family Sargassaceae.
AlgaeBase names and species:  599 names - 276 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
Significant polymer source - source of agricultural products - not farmed
Harvesting must use good  conservation practices to avoid habitat destruction.
Plants are generally brown or dark green in colour. Tissues are differentiated into holdfast, stipes, fronds, fruiting bodies and in some species there are gas-filled bladders. Some species may grow to a length of several metres. Common in the beach drift of beaches near Sargassum beds.
Sargassum species are found throughout tropical areas of the world and are often the most obvious macrophyte in near-shore areas where Sargassum beds often occur near coral reefs The plants grow subtidally and they attach to coral, rocks or shells in moderately exposed or sheltered rocky or pebble areas. In some cases (e.g. Sargasso Sea) there are floating populations.

Sargassum production
click country to go to GIS
Tons per annum
wild harvest
Tons per annum
Bangladesh n/a 0
Burma n/a 0
Brazil n/a 0
Egypt n/a 0
Indonesia n/a 0
India 2,250 0
Malaysia n/a 0
North Korea n/a 0
Philippines 5,000 0
South Korea n/a 0
Thailand n/a 0
USA n/a 0
Vietnam 400 0


7,650 0
There are few statistics on the Sargassum harvest and actual harvests are probably several times the figures shown above.
Biology & Agronomy
Wild harvest.
Sargassum species serve as sources of alginates. SuriaLink has a monograph in preparation concerning alginate chemistry. Also reported to contain fucoidan.
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
Sargassum species are the tropical equivalent to Ascophyllum and Fucus in terms of uses and applications. They are used as raw materials for alginate production and are also used as a component of animal feed and a source of liquid plant foods or plant biostimulants. There may also be nutraceutical or pharmaceutical applications for fucoidan and other bioactive extracts of the genus.
List of species' uses and community affiliations
Genus GenID SpID Species Uses Communities
Sargassum SA AQU aquifolium FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA CRF crassifolium FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA FII filipendula FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA GRM gramminifolium FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA HEN henslowianum FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA HOR horneri FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA ILI ilicifolium FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA MCC mcclurei FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA MYR myriocystum FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA OLI oligocystum FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA POL polycystum FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA SIQ siliquosum FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA SPP spp. FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA VAC vachelliannum FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Sargassum SA WIG wightii FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP

click to relevant uses or communities on the index/legend table below>>>

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Sargassum is most strongly associated with the Agri-industrial and  Biopolymer communities.
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