Carrageen

Chondrus crispus

About

Carrageen is a common, small seaweed that grows on rocky shores and in tidal pools and estuaries. Also known as 'Irish Moss', it is harvested commercially for the food and pharmaceutical industries.

How to identify

Carrageen is a thin, reddish-purple seaweed, with broad, strap-like, branching fronds. The fronds may appear iridescent when submerged and can turn green if exposed to bright sunlight for prolonged periods.

Where to find it

Common on western and southern coasts.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • Novermber
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Seaweeds provide a vital link in the food chain for many of our rarer species. Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Carrageen
Latin name
Chondrus crispus
Category
Seaweeds and grasses
Statistics
Length: up to 22cm
Conservation status
Common.