Rocky Shore Flora

Flora

Seaweeds
Most plants found on rocky shores are seaweeds. They’re algae, which means they can live on hard surfaces where plants with roots wouldn’t be able to survive. Instead of roots, they have special suckers called ‘holdfasts’ which cling to rock, even in big waves. They don’t have flowers, or normal stems or leaves. Seaweeds are mainly green, red or brown, depending on which wavelength of sunlight they’re trying to trap.

 

Lichens
These black, orange, yellow or grey plants are actually made up of a fungus and a microscopic algae living together and sharing food and energy to grow. They live at the top of the shore where the tide doesn’t rise and are the only plants on a rocky shore which are not algae.

 

Microscopic plants
Some rocks along the shore look bare. But that doesn’t mean there are no plants living on them. If you look carefully at rocks in mid- to high tidal level, you’ll notice they’re often yellowish or pinkish. This is because they’re covered with microscopic plants, many of which are diatoms, tiny, single-celled plants with hard silica shells. These plants are the main food for many grazing animals on rocky shores.

Different Zones of Rocky Shores

 

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