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Laminaria hyperborea is a massive, leathery seaweed, up to 360 cm long. The holdfast is large and cone-shaped, with branched rhizoids, looking rather like a bird's foot. The stipe is circular in cross section, rough, thick at the base and tapering upwards. Older stipes are often covered with epiphytic red algae. The laminate blade is deeply divided into linear segments and is yellowish brown with large digitate segments. It is a long-lived species and has been recorded as surviving for 15 years. Laminaria hyperborea can be distinguished from the rather similar L. digitata by being paler in colour and having a longer stipe which snaps when it is bent sharply.Laminaria ochroleuca is also similar but is more yellow in colour and does not have the rough stipe found in L. hyperborea.

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Chromista: Ochrophyta: Laminariales: Phaeophyceae: Laminariaceae: Laminaria hyperborea

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