This algal form is ubiquitous in the near shore ecosystem of La Jolla Cove Ecological Reserve. It is found attached to rocky reef outcroppings and adds a lot to the jungle like feel of our La Jolla Cove Ecological Reserve kelp forest with its relative the Macrocystis pyrifera (giant kelp).
It can be found on the West Coast from Alaska to Baja Sur, Mexico. From a thick holdfast it can grow to over 20 feet in length. The fronds are held up to the sunlight by a multitude of pneumatocysts attached to the stipe that float it towards the surface.