This pretty seaweed is made up of tiny balls. It grows on rocks and
coral rubble in small clumps. In Singapore, it does not form extensive
Features: The seaweed resembles
bunches of little grapes. Each 'grape' is tiny (0.1-0.2cm) usually
spherical on a stalk. The 'grapes' are usually tightly packed on a
vertical 'stem', often forming a sausage-like shape (2-10cm long).
This species is distinguished by the distinct constriction where the
'grape' attaches to the stalk. These bunches of 'grapes' emerge from
a long horizontal 'stem' that creeps over the surface. Colours range
from bright green to bluish and olive green.
Caulerpa microphysa can look very similar but lack the distinct
constriction where the 'grape' attached to the stalk.
Sometimes confused with Oval
sea grapes (Caulerpa racemosa). Here's more on how
to tell apart the sea grapes seaweeds.
Human uses: Round sea grapes are
a popular edible species in some places. In the Philippines,
the seaweed is eaten fresh as a salad, or salted so it can be eaten
later. Small quantities are also exported to Japan. It is also eaten
in Malaysia and Indonesia. This seaweed is commercially farmed in
Cebu, Philippines. Cuttings are planted by hand in muddy mangrove
ponds and harvested about two months later. The seaweed is also fed
to livestock and fish. The seaweed is high in minerals and is said
to taste refreshing. It is also reported to have antibacterial and
antifungal properties, and to be used to treat high blood pressure
and rheumatism. However, some Caulerpa species produce toxins
to protect themselves from browsing fish. This also makes them toxic
Terumbu Semakau, May 10
Tightly packed 'grapes' form a sausage-like shape.
Beting Bemban Besar, Apr 10
Constriction where the 'grape' attached to the stalk.
Labrador, May 09
Pulau Semakau, May 08
sea grapes on Singapore shores
photos of round sea grapes on Singapore shores
*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination
of internal parts.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of
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Plants of Australia
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Guide and Atlas of the Seaweed Resources of the Philippines..
Bookmark, Inc., the Philippines. 306 pp.