What is a Seagrass?
Seagrasses are tidal and sub-tidal marine flowering plants (angiosperms) that have complete internal vascular systems and a structure of buried roots, with erected leaves.
Many people have the misconception that seagrasses are a type of algae, but that is not true! There are various differences between seagrasses and algae. For instance, algae does not have a vascular system nor roots, and while algae is made of duplicates of the same cells, seagrasses have different types of cells for different parts of the seagrass.
There are currently 60 described species of seagrasses, with 23 species in the Indo-Pacific area.
The various seagrasses have evolved from water, to land, and back to water. All seagrasses are known to be able to complete their entire life cycles underwater, with the exception of one genus, the Enhalus, which has to pollinate above the water surface.
Singapore has a diverse range of seagrasses, which include Halophila Ovalis (spoon seagrass). This species is the most common and generally grow in sand, mud or silt. There are also Enhalus acoroides and Thalassia hemprichii. These three are found at Labrador Park. Others found in Singapore include Cymodocea rotundata, Cymodocea serrulata, Halophila beccarii, Syringodium isoetifolium and Halodule pinifolia, Halodule uninercis, Halophila minor, Halophila spinulosa.