Irish moss

a purplish-brown, cartilaginous seaweed, Chondrus crispus, of the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America. Also called carrageen, carragheen.
[1835-45]

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algae
also called  carrageen 

      (Chondrus crispus), species of red tufted seaweed with thin fronds from 5 to 25 cm (2 to 10 inches) long that grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of the British Isles, continental Europe, and North America. The plant is cartilaginous, varying in colour from a greenish yellow to a dark purple; when sun-dried and bleached it has a yellowish, translucent, hornlike aspect and consistency. The principal constituent of Irish moss is a gelatinous substance, carrageenan, which can be extracted by boiling. Carrageenan is used for curing leather and as an emulsifying and suspending agent in pharmaceuticals, food products, cosmetics, and shoe polishes. In North America it is harvested from shallow water by dredging with special rakes; in Europe it is usually obtained from plants cast ashore.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Irish moss — Moss Moss (m[o^]s; 115), n. [OE. mos; akin to AS. me[ o]s, D. mos, G. moos, OHG. mos, mios, Icel. mosi, Dan. mos, Sw. mossa, Russ. mokh , L. muscus. Cf. {Muscoid}.] 1. (Bot.) A cryptogamous plant of a cellular structure, with distinct stem and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Irish moss — Irish I rish, a. [AS. [imac]risc, fr. [imac]ras the Irish. Cf. {Aryan}, {Erse}.] Of or pertaining to Ireland or to its inhabitants; produced in Ireland. [1913 Webster] {Irish elk}. (Zo[ o]l.) See under {Elk}. {Irish moss}. (a) (Bot.) Carrageen.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Irish moss — ī(ə)r ish mȯs n 1) the dried and bleached plants of a red alga (esp. Chondrus crispus) that are used as an agent for thickening or emulsifying or as a demulcent (as in cookery or pharmacy) called also chondrus 2) a red alga (esp. Chondrus crispu …   Medical dictionary

  • Irish moss — may refer to: * Chondrus crispus , a seaweed * Sagina subulata , a terrestrial plant Creeping moss like groundcover with tiny white flowers. Bright green foliage. Does not like hot afternoon sun. Often used between paving stones or in rock… …   Wikipedia

  • Irish Moss — Same as Carrageen Moss …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • Irish moss — n. CARRAGEEN …   English World dictionary

  • Irish moss — Carrageen Car ra*geen , Carrigeen Car ri*geen , n. A small, purplish, branching, cartilaginous seaweed ({Chondrus crispus}), which, when bleached, is the {Irish moss} of commerce. [Also written {carragheen}, {carageen}.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Irish moss — noun Date: 1837 1. the dried and bleached plants of a red alga (especially Chondrus crispus) used as an agent for thickening or emulsifying or as a demulcent and as a source of carrageenan 2. a red alga that is a source of Irish moss called also… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Irish Moss — noun Alternative spelling of Irish moss …   Wiktionary

  • Irish moss — noun A species of edible seaweed, Chondrus crispus. Syn: carrageen, carrageen moss …   Wiktionary

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