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The Seashore

Pepper Dulse (Osmundea pinnatifida)

Pepper Dulse (Osmundea pinnatifida)

This is a red alga but has an extremely variable colour. The 2 - 10 cm long, flattened and branched frond varies in colour depending on the exposure to light. The more light the more bleached to yellow-white.

Pepper Dulse is very tolerant of shade and under these conditions adapts by developing more pigments to absorb what little light there is available. Under these conditions the alga takes on a dark red to brown colour. However, where water drains across large expanses of rock it can form a dominant short "turf" and by mid-summer this is bleached yellowy-green to almost white.

Its can be found from the middle to lower shore on rocks. Very widespread across European shores including the Mediterranean.

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