Factsheets for Red Seaweeds (phylum Rhodophyta)

Genus: Porphyra Trade name: nori Symbol: PO
AuthorityC. Agardh Type species: Porphyra purpurea (Roth) C. Agardh 
Commercial species:  abbotae (ABB), acanthophora (ACA), atropurpurae (ATR), columbina (COL), crispata (CRP), fallax (FAL), haitanensis (HAI), kuniedae (KUN), leucostica (LEU), perforata (PER), pseudolanceolata (PSE), seriata (SER), spirilis (SPR), suborticulata (SUB), tenera (TEE), torta (TOR), umbilicalis (UMB), vietnamensis (VIE), yezoensis (YEZ) & spp. 
Common names: Amanori, Ana-amanori, Asakusa nori, Beni-tasa, California laver, Casóg, Chi Choy, Chi Tsai, Chishima Kuro-nori 
Classification: Eukaryota, Phylum Rhodophyta, Class Rhodophyceae, Subclass Bangiophycidae, Order Bangiales, Family Bangiaceae. 
AlgaeBase names and species:  236 names - 113 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
Major aquaculture crop used for food.
Some production areas being alienated due to pollution and other environmental degradation.
Membranous olive to brown-purple fronds up to 20 cm long, irregularly lobed and split from central holdfast. The fronds have no definite shape, they can be narrow or broad, divided by lobes, thin, but always have a double layer of tissue. When exposed during low tides the plants have an appearance that resembles dark plastic sacks. Under water they have a delicate, filmy appearance.
On rocks, shells or as an epiphyte in the mid-tidal to the splash zone. Tends to flourish in cool temperatures below 10° C. Attached to substrates by a cord of interwoven holdfast strands.

Photo courtesy of: Guiry, M.D. & E. Nic Dhonncha. 2001. AlgaeBase. World Wide Web electronic publication www.algaebase.org (December 10, 2001)

Porphyra production
click country to go to GIS
Tons per annum
wild harvest
Tons per annum
Argentina 3 n/a
Brazil n/a n/a
Canada n/a n/a
China n/a 30,165
Chile 5 n/a
France n/a n/a
Indonesia n/a n/a
Israel n/a n/a
Japan n/a 60,000
New Zealand n/a n/a
North Korea n/a 20,449
Peru n/a n/a
Philippines n/a n/a
Portugal n/a n/a
South Korea n/a 20,000
Thailand n/a n/a
UK n/a n/a
USA n/a n/a


8 130,614
Approximate annual production figures from recent years are as above.
Biology & Agronomy
Porphyra is a valuable crop. The story of how, in 1949, Kathleen Drew-Baker discovered that  Conchocelis rosea was actually a stage in the life history of Porphyra is one of the great stories in aquaculture development. Drew-Baker discovered that Porphyra has a trimorphic life history, with a thallus stage, carposporophyte stage and a filamentous Conchocelis phase. There is a wealth of literature about Porphyra and a useful primer has been but in the web by Lisa Chen. For a brief description of wild harvesting in Europe see  Seaweed.ie.
In preparation.
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
Porphyra is mainly used as human food, largely in the form of paper-like sheets that are made from chopped plants and generally known as "nori" (a Japanese staple). Powdered Porphyra is also used as a component in nutraceutical and wellbeing products.
List of species' uses and community affiliations
Genus GenID SpID Species Uses Communities
Porphyra PO ABB abbottae FH SV
Porphyra PO ACA acanthophora FH SV
Porphyra PO ATR atropurpurae FH, MD SV, WB
Porphyra PO COL columbina FH SV
Porphyra PO CRP crispata FH SV
Porphyra PO FAL fallax FH SV
Porphyra PO HAI haitanensis FH SV
Porphyra PO KUN kuniedae FH SV
Porphyra PO LEU leucostica FH SV
Porphyra PO PER perforata FH SV
Porphyra PO PSE pseudolanceolata FH SV
Porphyra PO SER seriata FH SV
Porphyra PO SPR spirilis FH SV
Porphyra PO SPP spp. FH SV
Porphyra PO SUB suborticulata FH SV
Porphyra PO TEE tenera FH SV
Porphyra PO TOR torta FH SV
Porphyra PO UMB umbilicalis FH SV
Porphyra PO VIE vietnamensis FH SV
Porphyra PO YEZ yezoensis FH SV

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

    to uses                                                    to communities  
Porphyra is most strongly associated with the  Seavegetables and Wellbeing communities.
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