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This rodophyte has been collected and used by humans for centuries.
Chondrus is characteriezed by its flattened dichotomous
branches which, when reproductive, may have small bumps near the
tips. The alga generally appears dark red, and, as in one photo
shown here, sometimes there is a slight blue sheen on the surface.
Chondrus is very rich in carrageenan. Carrageenen is a complex
carbohydrate (more specifically, a mucopolysaccharide) that is
associated with the cell walls. Carrageenan is
just one of a number of algal products that humans commomly use.