Adam Harmer (April)
Competing for space in the same 'mid tidal' water as Egg Wrack (see my last post), Bladder Wrack can easily be distinguished by its 'paired' bladders. The bladders always appear in pairs, one either side of the obvious midrib. The fronds grow up to two metres in length and the plant typically lives up to four or five years.
Thanks to thin cell walls, Bladder wrack is susceptible to drying out so it tends to flourish slightly lower in the tidal reach than the more air-tolerant Egg Wrack. Bladderwrack also has a higher breaking strain than Egg Wrack so it will survive in less protected water without suffering from wave damage.
Bladder Wrack is a widespread foodsource in Japan and is used in many herbal rememdies. It is believed to have properties than can help with:
- Reducing appetite and promoting weight loss.
- Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
- Providing healthy fibre
- Balancing mood swings
- Improving mental concentration and focus
- Enhancing will power
One thing is for sure. There is no shortage of bladder wrack on the North Wales coast.