Halimeda discoidea [Everything You Should Know]

Halimeda discoidea Featured Image

Halimeda discoidea is a species of calcareous green algae that belongs to the order Bryopsidales.

It’s commonly referred to as the Money Plant due to its distinctive appearance, which resembles small, flat coins.

This unique alga is typically found in tropical regions, such as the Hawaiian Islands, and is found in various parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

What Does Halimeda discoidea Looks Like?

Color and Size

Halimeda discoidea is a green, segmented, and calcified alga. Its color can vary from bright green to grayish-green or even whitish.

This alga can grow to be 5 to 15 cm (about 2 to 6 inches) tall and sometimes even reach 20 cm (about 8 inches) in height.

Shape and Structure

One of the most distinctive features of Halimeda discoidea is its flat, discoid segments.

These segments are slightly calcified and can be 1 to 3.2 cm wide and 1 to 2 cm long. The thickness of the segments can range from 0.3 to 1.2 mm.

The outer margins of the segments are entire, undulating, and sometimes cleft, giving the alga its coin-like appearance.

Halimeda discoidea has a short holdfast, which is a structure that helps it attach to surfaces.

The base of the alga consists of 1 to 2 subterete (almost round) or stipe-like segments.

The structure of the alga is compact and can form loose, cushion-like clumps.


Utricles are small, bladder-like structures found within the Halimeda discoidea. In surface view, the utricles are polygonal and measure 42-50 x 30-40 mm.

In the longitudinal section, the surface utricles are 45 to 50 mm in diameter and 50 to 80 mm long.

The subsurface utricles are larger, measuring 90 to 110 mm in diameter and 125 to 150 mm long. These utricles support 4 to 8 surface utricles.

Where Does Halimeda discoidea Lives?

Halimeda discoidea is found attached to hard surfaces like reefs and rocky areas in tropical and subtropical waters.

It can thrive in a wide range of depths, anywhere between 3 to 100 ft (about 1 to 30 meters).

Some of the most common places to find this alga are on dead corals covered with sand in low intertidal and upper subtidal zones, as well as at depths of up to 50 meters (about 164 feet).

Light Requirements

Halimeda discoidea grows best in areas with high light intensity. However, it’s also capable of growing in low-light conditions.

This adaptability allows this alga to thrive in a variety of environments and depths.

What Is the Habitat Distribution of Halimeda discoidea?

Halimeda discoidea is found in tropical and subtropical waters across the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

This wide distribution includes areas such as the Hawaiian Islands, where the alga is commonly found attached to the reef and rocky surfaces.

Its ability to grow in various light levels and depths allows it to thrive in diverse marine environments.

You can check out what this plant looks like over here.

Halimeda discoidea Characteristics

Care Level:Easy
Growth Rate:Moderate
Nutrient Uptake:Fair
Required Lighting:Moderate High
Required Water Flow:Moderate
Is Palatable?Somewhat
Maximum Size:10 in (25.4 cm)

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Halimeda discoidea
Also Known As:Money Plant, Large Leaf Watercress Algae
Conservation Status:Unknown

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