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Seaweeds > Division Chlorophyta > Family Caulerpaceae > genus Caulerpa
Round sea grapes
Caulerpa lentillifera*
Family Caulerpaceae
updated Jan 13

Where seen? 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 blooms.

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 to humans.

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

Round sea grapes on Singapore shores

Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr

more 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 display.

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