Ecklonia maxima
Ecklonia maxima 001.jpg
Ecklonia maxima
Scientific classification edit
Clade: SAR
Phylum: Ochrophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Laminariales
Family: Lessoniaceae
Genus: Ecklonia
E. maxima
Binomial name
Ecklonia maxima
(Osbeck) Papenfuss, 1940
  • Ecklonia buccinalis (Linnaeus) Hornemann, 1828
  • Fucus buccinalis Linnaeus, 1771
  • Fucus maximus Osbeck, 1757
  • Laminaria buccinalis (Linnaeus) J.V.Lamouroux, 1813
  • Laminaria buccinalis var. macloviana Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1828
  • Laminaria flabellum Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1825

Ecklonia maxima, or sea bamboo, is a species of kelp native to the southern oceans. It is typically found along the southern Atlantic coast of Africa, from the very south of South Africa to northern Namibia. In these areas the species dominates the shallow, temperate water, reaching a depth of up to 8 metres (26 ft) in the offshore kelp forests.[2][3]

The kelp anchors itself by attaching itself to a rock or other kelp via its holdfast. From this root-like structure a single long stipe rises to the surface waters, where a large pneumatocyst keeps a tangle of blades at the surface to aid photosynthesis.[3]

The species is of economic importance as it is harvested for both an agricultural supplement and as food for farmed abalone.[4][5]


  1. ^ Guiry, Michael D. (2015). "Ecklonia maxima (Osbeck) Papenfuss, 1940". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  2. ^ Anderson, R. J.; P. Carrick; G. J. Levitt; A. Share (1997). "Holdfasts of adult kelp Ecklonia maxima provide refuges from grazing for recruitment of juvenile kelps". Marine Ecology Progress Series. Germany: Inter-Research. 159: 265–273. doi:10.3354/meps159265.
  3. ^ a b Mann, Kenneth H. (2000). Ecology of Coastal Waters: With Implications for Management. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 406. ISBN 978-0-86542-550-7.
  4. ^ Robertson-Andersson, D. V.; D. Leitao; J. J. Bolton; R. J. Anderson; A. Njobeni; K. Ruck (2006). "Can kelp extract (KELPAK) be useful in seaweed mariculture?". Journal of Applied Phycology. Springer. 18 (3–5): 315–321. doi:10.1007/s10811-006-9030-1.
  5. ^ Anderson, R. J.; M. D. Rothman; A. Share; H. Drummond (2006). "Harvesting of the kelp Ecklonia maxima in South Africa affects its three obligate, red algal epiphytes". Journal of Applied Phycology. Springer. 18 (3–5): 343–349. doi:10.1007/s10811-006-9037-7.