Burgundy maerl paint weed

Cruoria cruoriaeformis


This encrusting red seaweed is not typically plant-like in appearance.  It forms squashable, bright red growths, called crusts, which have a velvety texture and may be up to 2 cm in diameter.  When dry, the crusts become smooth and burgundy in colour. This red seaweed lives on the chalky red seaweeds, maerl, or on cobbles on the seabed, to which it is usually closely, and firmly stuck.


European distribution

This red seaweed is usually found associated with maerl beds around the western and south-western coasts of Britain and around the coast of Ireland. It is, however, absent from most western Scottish maerl beds.


Conservation status/need

  • Burgundy Maerl Paint Weed FactThis is a UK BAP Priority Species (BAP species are now Species of Principal Importance/Priority Species).
  • Species of principal importance for the purpose of conservation of biodiversity under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
  • Nationally scarce species


Further information

Marine Life Information Network

UK Biodiversity Action Plan

JNCC - UK BAP Priority Species and Habitats