Purple laver

Purple laver

Purple laver ©Dorset Wildlife Trust

Purple laver

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Enw gwyddonol: Porphyra umbilicalis
This purply-brown seaweed is a common feature on our rocky shores and on our dinner plates.

Top facts


Size: up to 20cm across

Conservation status


Pryd i'w gweld

January to December


Purple laver is a common seaweed found on rocky shores and can tolerate long periods of air exposure between tides. It attaches to the rock with a disc-like holdfast and occurs both singularly and in colonies. The purple fronds are tough but membraneous, being only a few cells thick.

What to look for

Purple laver is a purplish-brown seaweed with very thin, membrane-like fronds that vary in shape.

Where to find

Common on rocky shores all around our coasts.

Roeddech chi yn gwybod?

Purple laver is a favourite food in parts of Wales, where it is used to make laver bread and jelly, or rolled in oatmeal and fried in bacon fat. It is often served cold in Cornwall, doused with vinegar.