Cape Eelgrass


Cape Eelgrass (Zostera capensis)


Eelgrass is a water plant with long ribbon-like leaves of between 100 and 300mm in length.


Eelgrass grows in estuaries – where freshwater and seawater come in contact. The plant helps to bind the sandy deposits, provides shelter for marine animals and fish and becomes a source of food when it decomposes.

Related species

Halodule uninervis (also an estuarine plant, found in St Lucia and northwards) is similar, but its leaves terminate in three points. The three Cymodocea species (commonly found in quiet tropical waters), display wider (10 - 15 mm) strap-like leaves.

Field Notes

An important species as it provides food and shelter for fish and invertebrates in tidal estuaries.