Bornet’s coral weed (Bornetia secundiflora)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Bornetia secundiflora is dark red in colour, firm and rigid when fresh. The thallus is 5-20 cm high when erect, fan-shaped with blunt tips (apices), much branched and tufted, with branches often curved over. The plant has a jelly-like texture. Branches are sparse at the base becoming more dense towards the apices.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Confined to south Devon, south Cornwall, The Isles of Scilly and the Channel Isles.

Global distribution

Recorded from England to Morocco and the Mediterranean.


Bornetia secundiflora grows on boulders and bedrock, often under overhangs, from just below extreme low water to 3 m depth. It tolerates sand on rocks and moderately to extreme wave exposure.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Dark red in colour.
  • Fan-shaped branches.
  • Cylindrical apical cells.
  • Rigid and firm texture.

Additional information

Bornetia secundiflora shows little variation other than in overall size. The species is one of the most easily recognisable member of the Ceramiaceae. The only confusion possible is with Griffithsia corallinoides, from which it differs by the rigid rather than flaccid texture and the cylindrical rather than bead-like apical cells.

Listed by

- none -


  1. Hardy, F.G. & Guiry, M.D., 2003. A check-list and atlas of the seaweeds of Britain and Ireland. London: British Phycological Society

  2. Hiscock, S., 1986b. A field key to the British Red Seaweeds. Taunton: Field Studies Council. [Occasional Publication No.13]

  3. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line]

  4. Maggs, C.A. & Hommersand, M.H., 1993. Seaweeds of the British Isles: Volume 1 Rhodophycota Part 3A Ceramiales. London: Natural History Museum, Her Majesty's Stationary Office.

  5. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-06-23

  3. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2018. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Herbarium (E). Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Edwards, R.V. 2003. Bornetia secundiflora Bornet’s coral weed. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 23-06-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 22/07/2003