Turkish Towel

Authors: Nathalie Douglas and Aleisha Evans

Scientific Name: Chondracanthus exasperatus

Size:  They are able to grow to 1m tall and 30cm wide, but are more commonly 30-50cm tall and 10-20cm wide.

Habitat  Turkish Towels live from Sitka Sound to Baja California on the west coast of North America. It is found in the upper subtidal zone to the lower intertidal zone, until a depth of 20m. It tends to grow on rocks in protected areas.

Identifying Features  It is a red seaweed that is a single blade attached to a small stipe. It is rubbery and thick, with a towel-like texture from spikey papillae that cover the blade. The blade narrows at the top and is an irregular shape. The stipe may have some smaller (1cm) blades attached to it as well. Its colour ranges between purple, pink, dark red, light red, brown, and yellow green.


Feltham , Wendy. “Turkish Towel Seaweed – Gigartina Exasperata – Overview.” Encyclopedia of Life, EOL, 2012, eol.org/pages/902650/overview.

Fretwell, Kelly, and Brian Starzomski. “Turkish Towel • Chondracanthus Exasperatus.” Biodiversity of the Central Coast, 2014, www.centralcoastbiodiversity.org/turkish-towel-bull-chondracanthus-exasperatus.html.

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