Foraging Seaweeds Guide

As an Island, we are surrounded by the ocean and as such, we’re also surrounded by a vast abundance of seaweeds.

Seaweeds are a safe place to begin foraging, edible & packed full of nutrients and minerals.

These guides can be used to help you develop and are best used alongside some hands-on learning which we can help you with on one of our wild food and foraging courses.

The information provided below is made to act as a guide, when foraging for yourself you are ultimately in control of what you do and eat. Remember to only eat what you’re 100% certain of.

If there are any extra guides you’d like to see made or updated then please let us know by getting in touch here.

If you'd like to learn more why not join us on a Foraging Course

We Cover Plants, Trees, Mushrooms and Seaweeds and run throughout the UK

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  • bladderwrack seaweed
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  • edible
  • Fucus serratus
  • Fucus vesiculosus
  • Himanthalia elongata
  • kelp
  • Laminaria digitata
  • Laminaria species
  • laver
  • Oarweed
  • Osmundea pinnatifida
  • palaria palmata
  • Pelvetia canaliculata
  • pepper dulse
  • Porphyra umbilicalis
  • Sea Lettuce Seaweed
  • sea spaghetti
  • seaweed
  • Serrated Wrack Seaweed
  • spring
  • summer
  • Ulva Lactuca
  • winter

Bladderwrack Seaweed (Fucus vesiculosus) Identification

Bladderwrack / All Year / Edible Other Common Names: Rockweed, Seawrack Latin Name: Fucus vesiculosus Harvest Season and Technique Notes: You will probably see bladderwrack all year around. Make sure to cut what you gather away from the rest of the colony to avoid damaging its chances of reproducing but…

Channel Wrack Seaweed (Pelvetia canaliculata) Identification

Channel Wrack / All Year Round / Edible Latin Name: Pelvetia canaliculata Physical Characteristics: Brown seaweed with a dark, wiry stem opening out into a handful of fronds, each roughly 5-15cm long. The fronds form swollen V-shaped tips that are much lighter in colour, approaching yellow. The fronds each have…

Dulse Seaweed (Palmaria palmata) Identification

Dulse Seaweed / Spring / Summer / Autumn / Edible Other Common Names: Red seaweed, Dillisk, Vegan’s Bacon, Creathnach Latin Name: Palmaria palmata – Palmariaceae Harvest Season: From April to November you should find plenty. Best to time your harvest for the two hours around the lowest tide, ideally at one…

Kelp Seaweed (Laminaria species) Identification

Kelp / All Seasons / Edible Other Common Names: Kelp refers to a group of brown seaweeds that have a very sturdy, handlike holdfast, a long stipe (stalk), long fronds and a tendency to grow in dense clumps that look like underground forests in the right conditions. Thus, there are…

Laver Seaweed (Porphyra spp) Identification

Laver / All Year Round / Edible Other Common Names: Nori (but not the varieties found in Britain) Latin Name: Porphyra spp, including umbilicalis, leucosticta, linearis. All these species are edible and functionally the same, and often professionals in science and foraging struggle to distinguish the precise species from each…

Oarweed Seaweed (Laminaria digitata) Identification

Oarweed / Spring / Summer / Autumn / Edible Other Common Names: Tangle, Red Ware, Sea Girdle, Leath Latin Name: Laminaria digitata Harvest Season: April – October. As with all seaweeds, only take fronds that look healthy, fresh and free of infection, biofilm and other blemishes. Habitat: Kelps grow in…

Pepper Dulse (Osmundea pinnatifida) Identification

Pepper Dulse / spring / summer / autumn / winter / edible Other Common Names: Truffle of the Sea Latin Name: Osmundea pinnatifida Harvest Season and Technique Notes: This seaweed is one of the easiest to get mixed up with other red/brown seaweeds that also branch and share the same…

Sea Lettuce Seaweed (Ulva lactuca) Identification

Sea Lettuce / All Year Round / Edible Other Common Names: Sea Salad Latin Name: Ulva lactuca Harvest Season: Often to be found washed up in the rock pools, sometimes you will be lucky enough to come upon a garden of sea lettuce growing altogether. Late spring to late Autumn…

Sea Spaghetti (Himanthalia elongata) Identification

Sea Spaghetti / Spring / Summer / Autumn / Edible Other Common Names: Thongweed Latin Name: Himanthalia elongata Harvest Season and Notes: From April-October the long strands will be growing – harvest them before they have developed too many spots which is the site of gamete (reproductive cells) release. Habitat:…

Serrated Wrack (Fucus serratus) Identification

Serrated Wrack / All Year Round / Edible Other Common Names: Toothed wrack, Saw wrack Latin Name: Fucus serratus Physical Characteristics: A larger wrack that can grow to 60cm long. This is a brown seaweed with dark, wiry stems and slightly lighter, flat straplike fronds with distinctive serrations or teeth…