- History and Culture
Thalassodendron ciliatum is a species of seagrass. Leaves are ligulate, forming clusters which look like ribbons that are at the end of long stalks. Leaves are green with a hint of red or can consist of red stripes. The leaf tip is round and serrated. The rhizomes are stiff and woody in texture. Roots can be grouped and highly branched.
Thalassodendron ciliatum is dioecious, that is, male and female plants are different.
Thalassodendron ciliatum is present across the Indo-Pacific region. It is present in shallow water, mostly between 0-15 meters depth.
A dominant species in deeper water, it can form monospecific beds. It has characteristic epiphytic communities growing on its blades, with an encrusting calcareous alga that covers its woody stems. Although fast growing, it is a slow coloniser.
Thalassodendron ciliatum is listed as being of ‘Least Concern’ according to the IUCN Red list because it is widespread. It varies in abundance depending on location.
It is slow to colonise therefore challenging to recover in areas where it is destroyed. Other than human activities, it is prone to over grazing by sea urchins when these are in massive numbers.
It is used for stuff pillows in East Africa and also used in traditional rituals by tribes.