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Name derivation:

Plumaria:= L. plumosa: feathery or like feathers

plumosa= L. plumosa: feathery, like feathers

Common name: red feathers


Plumaria F.Schmitz 1896; 1 of 15 species descriptions is currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and Guiry 2014).

Order Ceramiales; Family Wrangeliaceae



Algae 4-13 (-30) cm tall, often in dense clumps, dull brown to purple red, and attached by a mat of rhizoidal filaments. Erect axes feathery, most branching in one plane. Reproductive structures at or near branchlet tips. Tetrasporangia pyriform, terminal, on 1-celled stalks, spherical, and 50-65 m in diam. Parasporangia clustered, terminal, globular to lobed, in a thick envelope that contains 5-16 angular paraspores. Spermatia clustered on all sides of terminal 4-5 cells of branchlets. Cystocarps solitary, on basal cells of branchlets. A perennial species.

Similar genera:

In contrast to Ptilota serrata, which looks somewhat similar, Plumaria elegans is soft and delicate, lacks cortication at its apex, and has a uniseriate apical tip.


In the Northwest Atlantic, most commonly found as a lithophyte, rarely as an epiphyte. Forming dense turfs under large algae in the mid to lower littoral and extending to the shallow sublittoral zones on the open coast. Can grows in shaded caves, and on vertical rock walls shielded by massive amounts of Ascophyllum nodosum.




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.

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

Whittick, A. 1977. The reproductive ecology of Plumaria elegans (Bonnem.) Schmitz (Ceramiaceae: Rhodophyta) at its northern limits in the western Atlantic. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 29: 223-230.