Portrait of a Palm

Liam Coleman

Postelsia palmaeformis, commonly known as the sea palm, is a species of kelp that can only be found on the west coast of North America in highly wave-exposed rocky intertidal zones. This charismatic brown alga has evolved a unique set of biomechanical traits that allow it to survive constant battering by waves that often exceed velocities of 2 metres per second. These traits include highly flexible and extensible tissues that are very resistant to wave-induced damage.