Chondrus crispus—commonly called Irish moss or carrageen moss, a species of red algae which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America.
In its fresh condition this protist is soft and cartilaginous, varying in color from a greenish-yellow, through red, to a dark purple or purplish-brown. The principal constituent is a mucilaginous body, made of the polysaccharide carrageenan, which constitutes 55% of its weight. The organism also consists of nearly 10% protein and about 15% mineral matter, and is rich in iodine and sulfur.
When softened in water it has a sea-like odour and because of the abundant cell wall polysaccharides it will form a jelly when boiled, containing from 20 to 100 times its weight of water.
Chondrus crispus is common all around the shores of Ireland and can also be found along the coast of Europe including Iceland, the Faroe Islands western Baltic Sea to southern Spain. It is found on the Atlantic coasts of Canada and recorded from California in the United States to Japan.