If you've been reading this blog for a while, you might recall that I showed a very broad-bladed Bull Kelp a couple of years ago — see "Seaweed puzzler" from 12 April 2015. That blade was ~16 cm across. I compared that to the description in the Marine Algae of California, which stated that the blades could reach up to 15 cm across.
Well, when I saw this specimen, I wondered if it was even broader. Sure enough, I measured it with the ruler along the edge of my notebook and estimated it was ~22 cm wide.
At the time I couldn't remember how wide the 2015 specimen had been. When I reviewed it, I started to wonder if I had measured incorrectly in the field. Could this specimen really be 6 cm wider than the previous one?
I'm glad I took a picture with my notebook next to the blade. To get a second opinion using the photo, I asked Eric to calculate the width of the blade based on the width of my notebook. He came up with 22.65 cm!
So is this a record-wide Bull Kelp blade? Has anyone found a Bull Kelp specimen with blades wider than 22 cm?
Keep your eyes open!