Notulae Algarum: An Online Journal for Algae

Most common epithets

Epithets can be descriptive or honorific. This is a list of the 100 most common specific epithets in algae, brief meanings, the type of epithet, the number of taxa that use this epithet ("No.") , and an example (mostly seaweeds). It is a tribute to the beauty of many algae that the most common epithet is "elegans" (elegant). Mostly feminine versions are given for adjectives as most genera of Latin origin are feminine.

Epithet Meaning Type No. Example
elegans elegant Adjective 517 Rhodophysema elegans (P.Crouan & H.Crouan ex J.Agardh) P.S.Dixon
gracilis thin, slender Adjective 502 Gracilaria gracilis (Stackhouse) Steentoft, L.M.Irvine & Farnham
simplex simple, undivided, unbranched, of one piece or series, not consisting of several distinct parts Adjective 327 Feldmannia simplex (P.Crouan & H.Crouan) Hamel
ovalis oval, elliptical, i.e., broadest at the middle, the sides curved and length:breadth generally 2:1 Adjective 301 Nothogenia ovalis (Suhr) P.G.Parkinson
australis south, southern Adjective 294 Helminthocladia australis Harvey
tenuis thin, fine, slender Adjective 293 Gymnogongrus tenuis J.Agardh
elongata elongated Adjective 282 Himanthalia elongata (Linnaeus) S.F.Gray
vulgaris common, general, ordinary Adjective 255 Ozothallia vulgaris Decaisne & Thuret
viridis green Adjective 254 Desmarestia viridis (O.F.Müller) J.V.Lamouroux
lanceolata lance-shaped Adjective 251 Chondria lanceolata Harvey
intermedia intermediate Adjective 247 Vaucheria intermedia Nordstedt
minuta very small; minute Adjective 244 Drachiella minuta (Kylin) Maggs & Hommersand
gracile thin, slender Adjective 242 Acrochaetium gracile Børgesen
obtusa obtuse, blunt Adjective 211 Laurencia obtusa (Hudson) J.V.Lamouroux
granulata granulate Adjective 208 Cystoseira granulata C.Agardh
minor smaller, inferior, lesser Adjective 201 Myriactula minor (Farlow) W.R.Taylor
linearis linear Adjective 200 Porphyra linearis Greville
elliptica elliptic, elliptical Adjective 194 Pachymeniopsis elliptica (Holmes) Yamada ex Kawabata
indica pertaining to India Adjective 190 Porphyra indica V.Krishnamurthy & M.Baluswami
japonica pertaining to Japan Adjective 188 Laminaria japonica Areschoug
pusilla very small Adjective 179 Ralfsia pusilla (Strömfelt) Foslie
irregularis irregular Adjective 178 Erythrocladia irregularis Rosenvinge
affinis neighbouring, allied to, akin to Adjective 173 Carpopeltis affinis (Harvey) Okamura
minima very little, very least Adjective 172 Blidingia minima (Nägeli ex Kützing) Kylin
marina growing in the sea Adjective 169 Derbesia marina (Lyngbye) Solier
americana of or pertaining to America Adjective 167 Acrochaetium americana (C.-C.Jao) Papenfuss
compressa flattened, usually laterally Adjective 163 Enteromorpha compressa (Linnaeus) Nees
anceps two-edged Adjective 160 Amphiroa anceps (Lamarck) Decaisne
truncata truncate, i.e., ending very abruptly as if cut straight across Adjective 158 Osmundea truncata (Kützing) K.W.Nam & Maggs
borealis north, northern Adjective 157 Rhodopeltis borealis Yamada
variabilis variable Adjective 154 Thamniochloris variabilis P.J.L.Dangeard
mirabilis to be wondered at, wonderful, marvellous, extraordinary, admirable Adjective 150 Harveyella mirabilis (Reinsch) F.Schmitz & Reinke
reticulata reticulate, netted, marked with a network Adjective 149 Sphacelaria reticulata Lyngbye
undulata wavy Adjective 148 Laurencia undulata Yamada
intestinalis relating to or found in the intestines Adjective 146 Enteromorpha intestinalis (Linnaeus) Nees
dichotoma dichotomous, having divisions always in pairs Adjective 145 Dictyota dichotoma (Hudson) J.V.Lamouroux
antarctica of or pertaining to the Antarctic Adjective 143 Durvillaea antarctica (Chamisso) Hariot
pacifica pertaining to the Pacific Ocean Adjective 140 Jania pacifica Areschoug
parvula very small Adjective A 138 Champia parvula (C.Agardh) Harvey
angusta narrow Adjective 137 Prionitis angusta (Okamura) Okamura
subtilis fine, thin, delicate, or precise Adjective 136 Gracilaria subtilis (B.M.Xia & I.A.Abbott) B.M.Xia & I.A.Abbott
tenuissima very fine Adjective 135 Punctaria tenuissima (C.Agardh) Greville
ventricosa swollen, especially on one side Adjective 134 Chrysymenia ventricosa (J.V.Lamouroux) J.Agardh
ornata furnished, equipped, embellished, adorned Adjective 133 Schimmelmannia ornata Schousboe ex Kützing
acuta acute, pointed; i.e. narrowing gradually and making an angle of less than 90° Adjective 132 Draparnaldia acuta (C.Agardh) Kützing
ovata ovate Adjective 131 Hincksia ovata (Kjellman) P.C.Silva
delicatula very delicate Adjective 130 Rhodymenia delicatula P.J.L.Dangeard
clavata clavate Adjective 129 Bonnemaisonia clavata Hamel
littoralis pertaining to the shore Adjective 128 Pylaiella littoralis (Linnaeus) Kjellman
verrucosum warty Adjective 125 Hydrolithon verrucosum V.Krishnamurthy & Jayagopal
elongatum elongated Adjective 124 Ceramium elongatum (Hudson) Roth
dubia doubtful Adjective 123 Cystoseira dubia Valiante
prolifera producing offsets, bearing progeny as offshoots Adjective 122 Enteromorpha prolifera (O.F.Müller) J.Agardh
pulchra beautiful, fair, pretty Adjective 121 Delisea pulchra (Greville) Montagne
intermedium intermediate Adjective 120 Lithothamnion intermedium Kjellman
spiralis spiral Adjective 119 Fucus spiralis Linnaeus
pinnata with leaflets arranged on each side of a common petiole Adjective 118 Rodriguezella pinnata (Kützing) F.Schmitz ex Falkenberg
glomerata clustered in a round mass Adjective 116 Cladophora glomerata (Linnaeus) Kützing
filiformis thread-like Adjective 115 Petalonia filiformis (Batters) Kuntze
virescens becoming green Participle 114 Eudesme virescens (Carmichael ex Berkeley) J.Agardh
capensis pertaining to a cape, generally the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa Adjective 113 Porphyra capensis Kützing
parvulum very small Adjective 112 Acrochaetium parvulum (Kylin) Hoyt
repens creeping, prostrate and rooting Adjective 111 Acrochaete repens Pringsheim
clathrata latticed or pierced with openings like a grating or trellis Adjective 110 Enteromorpha clathrata (Roth) Greville
costata ribbed, having one or more primary veins or ridges Adjective 109 Carpomitra costata (Stackhouse) Batters
nana dwarf Adjective 108 Sphacelaria nana Nägeli ex Kützing
alata winged Adjective 107 Membranoptera alata (Hudson) Stackhouse
tenue thin, fine, slender Adjective 105 Anotrichium tenue (C.Agardh) Nägeli
globosa round like a ball, globose, spherical Adjective 104 Haplospora globosa Kjellman
paradoxa paradoxical Adjective 103 Feldmannia paradoxa (Montagne) Hamel
flexuosa zigzag, bent alternately in opposite directions Adjective 102 Enteromorpha flexuosa (Wulfen) J.Agardh
laeve smooth, free from uneveness, hairs or roughness Adjective 101 Leptophytum laeve Adey
armata equipped, armed Adjective 100 Asparagopsis armata Harvey
pusillum very small Adjective 99 Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
confervoides resembling the genus Conferva Compound 98 Rhodomela confervoides (Hudson) P.C.Silva
tenera soft, delicate Adjective 97 Porphyra tenera Kjellman
violacea violet, refers to the blue-red colours nearer blue Adjective 96 Rhodella violacea (Kornmann) Wehrmeyer
pellucida pellucid, translucent but not hyaline Adjective 95 Cladophora pellucida (Hudson) Kützing
arctica of or pertaining to the Arctic Adjective 94 Polysiphonia arctica J.Agardh
duplex double Adjective 93 Bryopsis duplex De Notaris
undulatum wavy Adjective 92 Desmotrichum undulatum (J.Agardh) Reinke
paludosa boggy, marshy Adjective 91 Trachelomonas paludosa Skvortsov
coronata crowned Adjective 90 Vaucheria coronata Nordstedt
gigantea huge Adjective 89 Ulva gigantea (Kützing) Bliding
aculeata prickly, spine-like Adjective 88 Desmarestia aculeata (Linnaeus) J.V.Lamouroux
plumosa feathery Adjective 87 Bryopsis plumosa (Hudson) C.Agardh
curvata curved Adjective 86 Strepsithalia curvata Sauvageau
moniliforme moniliform, cylindrical but contracted at regular intervals like a string of beads Adjective 85 Acrochaetium moniliforme (Rosenvinge) Børgesen
moniliformis moniliform, cylindrical but contracted at regular intervals like a string of beads Adjective 84 Chaetosiphon moniliformis Huber
angustata narrowed Participle 83 Laminaria angustata Kjellman
fusca a sombre brown, but often used to indicate darkness of colour Adjective 82 Sphacelaria fusca (Hudson)  S.F.Gray
divaricata divaricate, spreading at a wide angle Adjective 81 Helminthora divaricata (C.Agardh) J.Agardh
tenuissimum very fine Adjective 80 Streblonema tenuissimum Hauck
spectabilis spectacular Adjective 79 Drachiella spectabilis J.Ernst & Feldmann
dentata toothed, usually with sharp teeth pointing outwards Adjective 78 Odonthalia dentata (Linnaeus) Lyngbye
nigrescens becoming black Participle 77 Erythrotrichia nigrescens P.J.L.Dangeard
rupestris rocky, rock-dwelling Adjective 76 Cladophora rupestris (Linnaeus) Kützing
rigida rigid Adjective 75 Ulva rigida C.Agardh
mexicana pertaining to Mexico Adjective 74 Caulerpa mexicana Sonder ex Kützing