Creature Feature: Sea Palm

Sea Palm (Postelsia palmaeformis) is a type of kelp native to the Pacific coast of North America.

Sea palms like to grow on rocky outcroppings, where they are constantly pummeled by waves. Their strong “stipe” holds their fronds aloft like a palm tree. They are one of the only species of kelp that live above the water.

Sea palms often share space with mussels, their main animal competitor. Recent research has shown that there is more to their relationship than competition. Sea palms produce more offspring when there are lots of mussels present, possibly because the mussels provide safe surfaces for young palms to grow on.

Sources: Wikipedia – postelsia
Photos: NOAA and USFWS on Flickr