Home Page > Picture Archives >> Hydrocharitaceae > Halophila ovalis
Caulinia ovalis, Halophila johnsonii, Kernera ovalis
Ashab bahriya, Dugong Grass, Hasheesh bahri, Paddle weed, Sea Wrack, Spoon seagrass
Halophila ovalis is a seagrass in the family Hydrocharitaceae, a common name is paddle weed. It is a small herbaceous plant that occurs in sea beds and other saltwater environments.[+]
The plant occurs around reefs, estuaries, islands, inter-tidal areas, on soft sand or mud substrates. The leaves are ovate in outline, appearing on stems that emerge from rhizome beneath the sand. The roots get up to 800 mm long and covered in fine root hairs. It is often found in meadows that dominate a sand bank or other patch of sea floor. The arrangement of the plant, above and below ground, provides stability to the sea floor and habitat for other species. It is used as food by dugong, as is therefore known as dugong grass.
The first description of the species was by Robert Brown as Caulinia ovalis, this was transferred to the genus Halophila by Joseph Dalton Hooker in Flora Tasmaniae (1858). The species name Halophila ovata is now regarded as a synonym of this species.
QNHG (Qatar Natural History Group) and associated people, for a possibility to participate in their field excursions and to learn about local nature.