Marine Plants of Western Australia

There is a tremendous diversity of marine plants off the WA coast, with over 1,000 species currently documented. This diversity of lifeforms includes both marine angiosperms and a variety of marine macro-algae.

Our efforts are currently focussed on the Marine Plants Project, a pilot project in conjunction with the Department’s Marine Conservation Branch with close collaboration from CSIRO, Murdoch University and The University of WA. It aims to provide ready access to authoritative current names for WA’s marine flora and access to some 20,000 specimen details, including geographic localities, habitat information and, where available, images.

The following families of plants, organised into their major taxonomic groups, forms the known marine plant flora of Western Australia and provides links to listings of the species occurring in WA. To assist with understanding the relative placement of these various marine plant groups, here is an overview of the higher levels of the Tree of Life. See our introduction to the cryptogams for further discussion and references.

Angiosperms (Flowering plants)
Cymodoceaceae Hydrocharitaceae Posidoniaceae Zosteraceae

Only the genera Enhalus, Halophila and Thalassia are marine.

Cyanobacteria (Blue-green algae)
Phormidiaceae Rivulariaceae Schizotrichaceae
Chlorophyta (Green algae)
Anadyomenaceae Bryopsidaceae Caulerpaceae Chaetosiphonaceae
Cladophoraceae Codiaceae Dasycladaceae Derbesiaceae
Halimedaceae Monostromataceae Ostreobiaceae Phaeophilaceae
Polyphysaceae Siphonocladaceae Udoteaceae Ulotrichaceae
Ulvaceae Valoniaceae
Rhodophyta (Red algae)
Acrochaetiaceae Acrosymphytaceae Acrotylaceae Areschougiaceae
Balliaceae Bangiaceae Bonnemaisoniaceae Caulacanthaceae
Ceramiaceae Champiaceae Compsopogonaceae Corallinaceae
Corynomorphaceae Cystocloniaceae Dasyaceae Delesseriaceae
Dicranemataceae Dumontiaceae Erythrotrichiaceae Faucheaceae
Galaxauraceae Gelidiaceae Gigartinaceae Gracilariaceae
Halymeniaceae Hypneaceae Kallymeniaceae Liagoraceae
Lomentariaceae Mychodeaceae Mychodeophyllidaceae Nemastomataceae
Nizymeniaceae Peyssonneliaceae Phacelocarpaceae Plocamiaceae
Polyidaceae Porphyridiaceae Pterocladiophilaceae Rhizophyllidaceae
Rhodomelaceae Rhodymeniaceae Sarcodiaceae Sarcomeniaceae
Schizymeniaceae Sebdeniaceae Sporolithaceae
Phaeophyta (Brown algae)
Alariaceae Chnoosporaceae Chordariaceae Cladostephaceae
Corynophlaeaceae Cutleriaceae Cystoseiraceae Ectocarpaceae
Dictyotaceae Elachistaceae Giraudiaceae Hormosiraceae
Notheiaceae Punctariaceae Ralfsiaceae Sargassaceae
Scoresbyellaceae Scytosiphonaceae Seirococcaceae Spermatochnaceae
Sphacelariaceae Sporochnaceae Stypocaulaceae