Seaweeding Algae & Seaweed Growing

Seaweed Edible Types | Top 40 List

seaweed edible types

Whether you’re a seasoned seaweed connoisseur or an algae-eating newbie, this list is sure to whet your appetite. In this article, we share the most popular algae and seaweed edible types from the world over.

In the US, seaweed has only recently been introduced as an edible food source. However, in the rest of the world, people have been eating seaweed for generations. Today there are hundreds of different edible seaweeds, but here are 40 of the most common seaweed types to eat and enjoy.


Red algae are one of the main algae groups, that consists of more than 7000 different species. They get their name due to their natural reddish hue. Here are 15 of the most common edible red algae species.


Callophyllis spp.

Carola is a very popular reddish-purple algae that can be found off the coastlines of Chile it is a very popular seaweed consumed in Latin America.

Carrageen Moss

Mastocarpus stellatus

Carrageen moss can be found along the shores of Scotland and Ireland, in the North Atlantic. This particular species is most commonly dried out and used as a drink base to treat the common cold.


Palmaria palmata

Found mostly in Scotland, Iceland, and Canada, dulse is a popular reddish seaweed that is dried out and sold in a flake form. It is most commonly used as a meat seasoning as well as in a wide variety of soups bases.


Eucheuma speciosa

Eucheuma is a reddish algae that is used in most of the world for food processing and as an ingredient in a wide variety of cosmetics. In southeast Asia, it is readily consumed as part of the Filipino diet.


Pyropia vietnamensis

Gamet is one of more than 500 different edible seaweed species that are consumed throughout southeast Asia. This dried purplish seaweed is sourced from the town of Burgos and is used as a base in soups, and as part of omelets, salads, and other local cuisines.


Gelidiella acerosa

There are roughly 22 different edible species of gelidiella that are harvested from tropical and subtropical waters. This particular algae, has been successful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.


Pyropia; Porphyra

Gim refers to a wide variety of reddish-purple algae that are consumed as part of a regular Korean diet. Not only is it the most widely consumed type of seaweed in Korea, but the nation is also the largest cultivator of the species.


Eucheuma denticulatum

In the Philippines, Gusô is the Visayan term used to identify a group of red algae that is cultivated locally throughout the country and consumed on a regular basis.

Halosaccion Glandiforme

Halosaccion glandiforme

Also referred to as sea sacs, these particular grape-shaped algae can be found throughout the northern Pacific Ocean, especially in the Bering Straits and along the shores of the Aleutian Islands.



Ogonori is a form of red algae that has become an important part of indigenous diets throughout Asia, Africa, South America, as well as Oceania.

Grapestone Mastocarpus Papillatus

Mastocarpus papillatus

Also known as Turkish washcloth, this particular species of red algae can be found along the Turkish shores, and receives its name due to its similarities with the washcloths used within Turkish baths.


Hypnea musciformis

Hypnea is one of the most widely distributed forms of edible red algae in the world. There are a number of different endemic species that can be found in Japan, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, Mauritius, Brazil, India, and the Philippines.

Irish Moss

Chondrus crispus

Irish Moss is a very popular form of edible red algae that can be found along both US and European shorelines. It is most commonly used in desserts like ice cream and tapioca pudding.


Porphyra laciniata; Porphyra umbilicalis

In Wales, the edible Laver seaweed is used to make laverbread, which plays an important role in traditional cuisine. It is also consumed regularly throughout Great Britain and Ireland.



Nori is one of the most popular red algae consumed worldwide. It is generally roasted and pressed into sheets which are then used to wrap sushi, and rice. It is also used as a seasoning in traditional Japanese cuisine.


Compared to red algae, there are only 5 well-known edible forms of green algae. Nevertheless, they are also some of the most commonly consumed forms of algae in the world.


Chlorella sp.

Chlorella is most known for its high protein content. When compared to other forms of edible algae, chlorella when dried is about 45% protein. The rest of the algae is composed of fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and minerals.


Ulva intestinalis

Gutweed is one of the most popular seaweeds consumed in the United Kingdom. They are generally found in rock pools or along the shore in large masses. They also provide shelter for a wide variety of marine species.

Sea Grapes or Green Caviar

Caulerpa lentillifera

Sea grapes are one of the most popular forms of algae consumed throughout Asia-Pacific. They are very soft and succulent and resemble Green caviar.

Caulerpa Racemosa

Caulerpa racemosa

Caulerpa is one of the widest-spread edible green algae in the world. They can be found in just about every body of seawater with the most recent form discovered in the Mediterranean Sea.

Sea Lettuce

Ulva spp.

Sea lettuce is one of the most popular forms of edible algae in the world. It can be found along the shorelines of just about every continent and is generally harvested during the peak of the summer when it is in full bloom.


Brown algae: Phaeophyceae

Of all of the types of algae, the vast majority of edible seaweed is considered to be part of the Brown algae group. The subsets of brown algae include kelp, Fucales, and Ectocarples.


The kelp subset of brown algae has 11 extremely popular forms of edible seaweed to choose from. The most common form is that of giant kelp which has been harvested from the seafloor for centuries.


Eisenia bicyclis

Very popular in Asian cuisine, arame is generally sold in a dried state but can be easily reconstituted in a matter of 5 minutes. It is also sold in stick form and can be added to a wide variety of dishes, bread, and soups.


Alaria esculenta

Throughout the British Isles and England, badderlocks is one of the most popular options when it comes to edible brown seaweed. It grows very quickly along rocky shorelines and is commonly used as part of a wide variety of local dishes.


Durvillaea antarctica

You will find the stems of cochayuyo being used for a wide variety of different products in Chile. Both the stems and holdfasts form a regular part of Chilean cuisine and are used to make salads and stews.

Ecklonia Cava

Ecklonia cava

When it comes to edible brown algae that offer a wide variety of health benefits, look no further than ecklonia. This particular variety of seaweed is used as a coloring and flavoring agent in a wide variety of soups, candy, as well as in kimchee. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antioxidant, and anticancer properties


Saccharina japonica

One of the most popular edible brown seaweeds in all of East Asia is kombu. It is consumed widely in Japan, steeped in water, and served with soy sauce. It is also used in ramen, and miso, as well as a base for a popular fermented drink.


Laminaria digitata

Originally used exclusively as a fertilizer, oarweed is commonly used today as an ingredient in a wide variety of cosmetic products, as well as an excellent source of iodine. It is also known for its use as a form of traditional medicine.

Sea Palm

Postelsia palmaeformis

Sea palm is a very popular edible algae found off the coast of California. While it is used in a wide variety of dishes it is also a protected species. As a result, commercial harvesters need to obtain a license before they can sell any of the seaweed.

Bull Kelp

Nereocystis luetkeana

Bull kelp is one of the fastest-growing forms of brown algae. It can grow as much as 10 inches in a single day and is to grow from a spore into maturity in a single year.

Sugar Kelp

Saccharina latissima

Sugar kelp is a very popular form of seaweed that is often referred to as kombu in some locations. It is one of the most important ingredients in miso soup. It is also the source of one of the most popular sugar substitutes used in chewing gum.


Undaria pinnatifida

This particular brown algae is high in omega-3 fatty acids and is known for having an extremely sweet taste. Wakame is a popular edible seaweed that grows in large forests that are commonly referred to as sea mustard due to its color.


Undaria undarioides

Similar to Wakame, you will find Hiromi off the shores of Shikoku, Honshu, and Kyushu. It is a much smaller form of brown algae, that is regularly consumed throughout Japan.


Like kelp, Fucales are a major subgroup of brown algae. They are also the most commonly used forms of seaweed in food supplements, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.


Fucus vesiculosus

Bladderwrack is a form of edible algae, that is harvested for its potassium, bromine, iodine, and volatile oils. Care should be taken when consuming, due to its high content of iodine.

Channelled Wrack

Pelvetia canaliculata

Along the shores of Wales, Scotland, and Britain, you will find popular brown algae known as channelled wrack. These edible algae can be found in the splash zone and are known to blanket large areas of rocky European shorelines.

Hijiki Or Hiziki

Sargassum fusiforme

Hijiki is first boiled and then dried immediately after it is harvested from the sea. Is then reconstituted and used in a wide variety of stir-fries, or even served with fish.

Limu Kala

Sargassum echinocarpum

You will find that the number one form of edible seaweed in the Hawaiian Islands is Limu Kala. Not only is edible but it is also a symbol of peace. As such, it plays an important part in Hawaiian culture and is used as part of the forgiveness ceremony.



You will find Sargassum along the southern Florida coastlines and in the Florida Keys. It is generally found free floating on the water, where it is harvested and cleaned, in order to be used as part of traditional medicine. It is generally dissolved in warm water and drank in tea form.

Spiral Wrack

Fucus spiralis

This form of edible brown algae is a common site for those who live in the United Kingdom, especially further up sure. It is generally found along rocky shorelines and can survive for a long period of time out of the water.


Himanthalia elongata

Thongweed is an extremely long edible seaweed that is native to Europe. It can be found in the Baltic and North seas, as well as in the Atlantic Ocean.


The smallest subset of edible brown algae is known as ectocarpales. While there are a wide variety of edible options to choose from, the most common species is mozuku.


Cladosiphon okamuranus

Harvested by hand off the shores of Okinawa, mozuku is known locally as the treasure under the sea. It plays an important part of the Okinawan diet, and is generally eaten either raw or in tempura form.

Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)


Arthrospira maxima; Arthrospira platensis

Despite the name ‘blue-green algae’, spirulina is not technically algae, it’s bacteria.

Algae are plants, but very simple plants with the ability to reproduce in a similar manner to all other land-based plants. Spirulina on the other hand is a cyanobacterium, lacking the most basic requirements for traditional plant-like reproduction. Instead, cyanobacterium reproduce through binary fission, whereby the cells split into two, and each half forms a complete replica of itself.

On this website, we will include spirulina due to the common perception that it is algae, even though the science tells us it is not. Spirulina is commonly found in the form of tablets and powder as a nutritional supplement, but can also be cultivated at home and consumed fresh.