Golden kelp (Laminaria ochroleuca)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Laminaria ochroleuca is a yellow-brown digitate kelp up to about 1.5 m in length. It has a distinct yellow area at the junction of the stipe and the blade which is a key distinguishing feature. Laminaria ochroleuca also has a rigid round stem (or stipe) that is clean of any attached growths (epiphytes). The blade is broad and flattened, dividing into numerous strap like digits.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

An isolated recording in the Shetland Islands but otherwise found on the coast of south west England including Lundy, the Isles of Scilly, south Devon and Cornwall.

Global distribution

NE Atlantic, Mediterranean, SE Atlantic


The species is found on rocks from the low water spring tide level to the shallow subtidal. In some locations Laminaria ochroleuca may be found in deeper water. For example, in the Isles of Scilly a park of Laminaria ochroleuca is found deeper than Laminaria hyperborea at a depth of about 25 m. The species may occur as mono-specific stands or as mixed stands with other Laminaria species.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Bright yellow patch at base of blade.
  • Similar in appearance to Laminaria hyperborea but with a rigid round epiphyte free stipe.

Additional information


Listed by

- none -


  1. BMLSS (British Marine Life Study Society), 2002. Jellyfish page [On-line], 2002-07-02

  2. Guiry, M.D. & Nic Dhonncha, E., 2002. AlgaeBase. World Wide Web electronic publication,

  3. Hardy, F.G. & Guiry, M.D., 2003. A check-list and atlas of the seaweeds of Britain and Ireland. London: British Phycological Society

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line]

  6. Norton, T.A. (ed.), 1985. Provisional Atlas of the Marine Algae of Britain and Ireland. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.


  1. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset Accessed via on 2018-10-01

  2. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  3. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  4. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-06-25

  5. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2018. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Herbarium (E). Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Smirthwaite, J. 2007. Laminaria ochroleuca Golden kelp. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25-06-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 03/07/2007