Caulerpa taxifolia (M.Vahl) C.Agardh

Last updated: 28 April 2015

Scientific Name

Caulerpa taxifolia (M.Vahl) C.Agardh


Fucus taxifolius M.Vahl [1]

Vernacular Name

Indonesia Rumput laut (General) [2]
Philippines Lukay-lukay [2]

Geographical Distributions

Caulerpa taxifolia is widely distributed in the tropical seas of the world and is also found in some subtropical waters, e.g. in south-eastern Queensland (Australia) and in the Mediterranean Sea where it has been introduced and is considered a pest. It is common in Southeast Asia and has been recorded in Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. [2]

The preferred condition for C. taxifolia in the tropics is shallow water (1-3 m deep) on semi-protected beaches with moderate current. It grows well on both hard substrate and sandy bottom, and sometimes occurs as a creeping epiphytic alga on calcareous algae or on living stony corals. Its known vertical distribution reaches to a depth of 30 m in tropical areas, and as deep as 100 m in the Mediterranean Sea. [2]

Botanical Description

C. taxifolia comes from the family of Caulerpaceae. It is a stoloniferous plant. Its tubular stolon measures 0.5-2 mm in diametre. [2]

The rhizoid-bearing branches (pillars) are divided in the lower part at irregular intervals. The fronds are 6-15 cm tall (in the Mediterranean Sea, however, giant specimens of 85 cm tall have been found), often on cylindrical stalk (naked sections of the erect axis) measuring 1-3 cm long and 0.3-1 mm in diametre. [2]

The axis is usually somewhat compressed, measures 1-2 mm wide, simple or only exceptionally irregularly branched. The branchlets are borne on very short stalks. They are pinnately arranged, opposite, closely approximated, mostly not overlapping, with parallel sides and slightly constricted at their bases, compressed, measuring 3-10 mm long (3-10 times as long as broad), 0.5-1.7 mm wide and curved upwards. [2]

They taper gradually to acuminate apices and occasionally bifurcate. The thalli are holocarpic when fertile. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of C. taxifolia (M.Vahl) C.Agardh. [2]


  1. Guiry MD. World Register of Marine Species. Caulerpa taxifolia (M.Vahl) C.Agardh. [homepage on the Internet]. c2015 [updated 2012 Dec 13; cited 2015 Apr 23]. Available from:
  2. Caulerpa taxifolia (Vahl) C. Agardh. In: Prud’homme van Reine WF, Trono Jr. GC, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 15(1). Cryptograms: Algae. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers; 2001.