You've heard about kelp, but are kelp and seaweed the same thing? And what about this Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed that everyone is raving about!
In Australia there is a tendency to call all seaweed “kelp”.
But are kelp and seaweed the same thing?
Is kelp seaweed? What is kelp?
How are Ascophyllum nodosum, kelp and seaweed similar?
At Seaweed Enterprises Australia we only sell Ascophyllum nodosum, the king of seaweeds. In this article, I’m going to explain to you the difference between kelp and Ascophyllum nodosum, and why we sell seaweed but don’t sell kelp.
Across the world, there are around 10,000 species of Seaweed. All seaweeds are algae – groups of single celled organisms that live and work together. Kelp is algae, and Ascophyllum nodosum is algae as well.
These 10,000 species of seaweed are broken into 3 groups – brown, red and green.
The largest group by far is Red seaweed, with about 6,500 species. It includes medicinal species such as Dulse and Irish Moss.
Green seaweeds can grow in both salt and fresh water and include edible seaweeds such as nori seaweed and wakame, which are traditionally seaweed in sushi. They are believed to be the ancient ancestors of land plants.
The Brown seaweeds include around 1,800 species - Ascophyllum nodosum and kelp are different species that both belong to this group.
But this is where the similarities between Ascophyllum nodosum and Kelp come to an end.
So is kelp seaweed?
So is kelp seaweed? Yes, it is. Sea kelp is huge seaweed that grows in deep water. In Tasmania there are “forests” of Bull Kelp, Durvillea potatorum, that are eco-systems in their own right, providing food and shelter for other marine life. These giant kelp forests are protected and cannot be harvested, so the Tasmanian seaweed industry relies on storms to break the kelp off and wash it up onto beaches where it is collected. Tasmanian seaweed collectors need to be quick to harvest the kelp from the beach before it begins to decompose.
And is Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed? Most definitely! Ascophyllum is a completely different seaweed to kelp though – it is a smaller, soft fresh seaweed that grows on rocks in coastal zones between high and low tide. It loves the freezing waters of the Atlantic Ocean just below the Arctic Circle and it is harvested in Norway, Scotland, Iceland and Canada.
And is Seaperia kelp or seaweed?
Seaperia seaweed is better than kelp - it is pure Ascophyllum nodosum from Norway. Our seaweed is sustainably harvested under strict environmental standards. You can read more about the Norwegian seaweed industry in another article we wrote here.
Ascophyllum nodosum is the most studied Seaweed in the world, and is proven scientifically and in field trials to be the most effective Seaweed for agriculture.
It is thought that the incredibly harsh conditions in which it grows cause Ascophyllum nodosum to produce much higher quantities of the natural growth hormones that make Seaperia such an incredible health and growth activator for plants and animals.
Both kelp and Ascophyllum nodosum can be bought as a dry seaweed meal, or kelp powder, to supplement animals, as well as sprayable seaweed products for crops.
There are a number of other species of Brown Seaweed that are used in agricultural products – Laminaria and Sargassum are two of the most common.
If you look at the label though you will find that these agricultural products always contain a certain percentage of Ascophyllum nodosum. That’s because, while kelp and other seaweeds make a cheap product, Ascophyllum nodosum is the one that really makes a big difference to animal and plant health.
This is why we only sell pure Ascophyllum nodosum.
Seaperia is one hundred percent pure Ascophyllum nodosum - the best Seaweed you can buy.
So next time you’re talking Seaweed with someone show them you know what you’re talking about.
Are kelp and seaweed the same thing? Yes they are, in a way. You know now that kelp is seaweed, but it is just one of many thousands of species.
The world’s best seaweed for plant, animal and soil health is proven to be Ascophyllum nodosum.
So next time you’re looking for a kelp or seaweed product check the label and look for the one that is 100% pure Ascophyllum nodosum.
The others really don’t compare.
More great Seaweed blogs!
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Why Norway "We are often asked what is so special about seaweed from Norway? What about Australian seaweed? The Australian Government doesn’t allow harvesting of native seaweeds - in fact in 2012 the giant Bull Kelp forests in Tasmania were placed under protection. Australia does have a seaweed industry though, and a number of..."