Caloglossa leprieurii (Mont.) G. Martens

Caloglossa leprieurii (Mont.) G. Martens




Delesseria leprieurii Mont., Caloglossa mnioides Harv. ex J. Agardh, Caloglossa leprieurii var. hookeri E. Post.

Vernacular Names

China Zhegucai (As medicine).

Geographical Distributions

Caloglossa leprieurii is widely distributed in tropical and warm temperate waters throughout the Atlantic, India and the Pacific Oceans. In Southeast Asia, it has been recorded in Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines and northern Papua New Guinea.


C. leprieurii is thalli that can spread and erect in some portions. It is reddish-violet, reddish-brown to pale-brown.

The blades are strap-shaped, thin, membranous, measure 1-3 mm across, occasionally arising in rosettes from a stipe, alternately branched and forked at the apices, constricted and often with rhizoids at the constrictions (nodes). The internodal segments are elongate-ovate to linear-lance-shaped, measure 1-4 mm long, composed of a midrib of large rectangular cells and with lateral blade.

The secondary branches or segments are leaflike, proliferous from the forkings or midribs of blades and with small subhexagonal cells in oblique series from the midrib to the margin.

The life cycle is triphasic, diplo-haplontic and isomorphic. The tetrasporangia is spherical, measuring (23-)50-75 ┬Ám in diametre at maturity in oblique series near the upper portion of blade and with a cover cell on the both blade surfaces. Each sporangium forms four tetraspores. The gametophytes are dioecious but rarely monoecious.

The procarps are on the ventral surface of internodes and sometimes also dorsally at time on both surfaces. The cystocarps are ostiolate. The spermatangial sori are on the blades at the both sides of midrib and on the both surfaces of terminal and subterminal segments.

Ecology / Cultivation

C. leprieurii is a tropical or warm-temperate alga often associated with mangrove vegetation, where it grows on the modified roots and bases of mangrove plants. In these habitats, it occurs in a characteristic mixed community with other Caloglossa spp. and with red algae such as Bostrychia spp., Catenella spp. and Stictosiphonia spp. This community is characteristic of mangrove habitats and generally referred to as the Bostrychia-Caloglossa association. The algae of this association do not appear to be heavily grazed and the algal production is assumed to enter the food web through detrital food chains. The relative contribution of algae to the overall productivity of the mangrove community is unknown. Many fish and crustaceans feed among mangroves and this has implications for the drainage and the so-called 'reclamation' of mangrove swamps, especially where there is a heavy reliance on inshore fisheries. C. leprieurii also occurs epilithically on fully marine coasts, but more common in estuaries near the lower limits of salinity influence. It is also recorded in permanent freshwater habitats. Its capacity to grow in a range of salinities, and to cope with fluctuating salinities, has frequently been investigated.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 15(1): Cryptogams: Algae.