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Name derivation:

Phyllophora = L. phyllo: leaf + phorus: bearing; bearing leaves or leaf bearer

            pseudoceranoides = L. pseudo: false + ceras: horned, with horns + oides: like          



Phyllophora  Greville  1830;  11 of 91 species descriptions are currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and Guiry 2014).



Algae 10-25 (-50) cm tall, forming  long wiry (terete) stipes bearing firm leafy blades; many frond arising from a common disc.  Blades red-brown to dull purple, membranous, fan-shaped, forked or lacerated, and with wedge-shaped bases.  Bladelets densely packed, dichotomously branched, and with rounded tips.  Medulla with large, thick-walled cells decreasing in diameter outwards.   Cortex with 3 or more layers of cells, decreasing  in size and pigmented on surface. Tetrasporangia cruciate, in rows, wedge-shaped large, and with dark thickened external sori near the bases of blades.  Gametophytes dioecious, spermatangia on bright red marginal blades.  Cystocarps stalked, urn-shaped, and either on stipes or blade margins. algae perennial.

Similar genera:

Coccotylus, that looks somewhat similar to Phyllophora, lacks an independent tetrasporophyte and specialized leaflets for gametangia.


Common, with base of alga (i.e. stipes) sometimes covered with sand, encrusted with bryozoans, or covered by sponges, particularly in low tide pools. Growing in lower littoral  tide pools (i.e. sponge-covered habitats) to 20 m in the sublittoral zone of open coastal and estuarine habitats.




Guiry, M.D. and G.M. Guiry  2014.  AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 2 May 2014.

Newroth, P. R. and A. R. A. Newroth. 1971a. The distribution of Phyllophora in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions. Can. J. Bot. 49: 1017-1024.

Newroth, P. R. and A. R. A. Newroth. 1971b. The nomenclature of the North Atlantic species of Phyllophora Greville. Phycologia 10: 93-97

Taylor 1971; Taylor, W. R.  1957. Marine Algae of the Northeastern Coast of North America. Revised edition. Univ. Michigan Press., Ann Arbor, ix + 509 pp. ()