- Irish Moss-Sagina subulata Hardy Planting Zones- 4-8 Sun or Shade – Full Sun to Partial Shade Mature Height - 1-2" Mature Width- 12" Bloom Season – Late Spring-Summer Gardener Status- Beginner
Irish Moss - Chondrus crispus
Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) plant is also referred to as carrageen moss. It is commonly found growing along the atlantic coasts of both Europe and North America. It has also been found growing in the Pacific from California to the coasts of Japan. The Irish Moss is actually a red algae that grows in various colors. Irish moss can be found in a greenish-yellow hue or a reddish-purple hue. Sometimes it also will appear to be a purple-brown color. Irish Moss has a sea scented smell when it is softened in water. Irish moss can contain 20-100 times in weight in water and when boiled it turns into a jelly. Irish moss is a small sea algae that only reaches about twenty centimeters in length. It grows from a disk shape and branches out about four or five times in a fan like pattern. The branches are 2 to 15mm broad. The branches are firm and range in color from white to red to green. Irish moss is found growing on rocks along shore lines all the way down to the subtidal zone. It can reach the ocean floor where it is difficult for sunlight to reach it. It is comprised of about fifty five percent carrageenan, fifteen percent mineral matter and 10 percent protein. It is also rich in sulfur and iodine. Carrageenan is produced from Irish Moss; tihs is a thickener found in ice cream, lunch meats and other processed foods. Irish moss is boiled in Venezuela with milk and honey and then strained from the boiled mixture. It is believed to help with chest congestion and sore throats. Many home beer brewers use it to clarify beer. It also is boiled with milk, vanilla and cinnamon to make a tapioca type of dessert in Scotland. Irish Moss reproduces like seaweed and has an alternation of of generation life cycle.