1.type genus of the family Laminariaceae: perennial brown kelps
2.(MeSH)A genus of BROWN ALGAE in the family Laminariaceae. Dried pencil-like pieces may be inserted in the cervix where they swell as they absorb moisture, serving as osmotic dilators.
Laminaria‖Lam`i*na"ri*a (?), n. [NL. See Lamina.] (Bot.) A genus of great seaweeds with long and broad fronds; kelp, or devil's apron. The fronds commonly grow in clusters, and are sometimes from thirty to fifty feet in length. See Illust. of Kelp.
Laminaria (n.) [MeSH]
J. V. Lamouroux
c. 30 species; see text
Laminaria is a genus of 31 species of brown algae (Phaeophyceae), all sharing the common name "kelp". This economically important genus is characterized by long, leathery laminae and relatively large size. Some species are referred to by the common name Devil's apron, due to their shape, or sea colander, due to the perforations present on the lamina. It is found in the north Atlantic Ocean and the northern Pacific Ocean at depths from 8 to 30 m (26 to 98 ft) (exceptionally to 120 m (390 ft) in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean Sea and off Brazil).
The name also refers to the use of this algae to dilate the cervix when induction of pregnancy is necessary. It serves to absorb moisture and then expand, subsequently expanding the cervix.
The greater proportion of commercial cultivation is for algin, iodine and mannitol, which are used in a range of industrial applications. In South Korea it is processed into a sweetmeat known as laminaria jelly. The largest producer of kelp products is China. 
According to C.Michael Hogan the life cycle of the genus involves a diploid generational system.
|Wikispecies has information related to: Laminaria|
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