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Sea grapes
Caulerpa racemosa
(Forsskål) J. Agardh, 1873

Description:
This plant has erect branches arising from a horizontal stolon attached to the sediment at intervals by descending rhizomes. The erect branches arise every few centimeters, reaching as much as 30 cm in height. A large number of branchlets, resembling ovate or spherical bodies on stalks, arise from each erect branch. Where branches and stolons are close together, the branchlets form a dense mat of seemingly spherical structures. The plants are coenocytic, i.e., the plant is multinucleate and nonseptate.

Habitat:
It occurs from shallow muddy bays to clear water reef environments, at depths from near the surface to 100 m. It can occur adjacent to living corals and has even been observed growing on the coral Acropora palmata .

Distribution:
From Bermuda and Florida to Brazil, including all of the Caribbean.

Remarks:
Somewhat different growth patterns of this species are sometimes considered to be separate species. C. racemosa var. peltata has disk-like appendages attached to the branchlets and C. racemosa var. macrophyso forms upright columns bearing grape-like spheres.

Sea grapes (Caulerpa racemosa)