Chondrus crispus, or Irish moss, is a common edible red seaweed that can be found on rocky shores in the Northern Atlantic. The cell wall contains carrageenan and C. crispus is the original source of this commercially used thickener. Because of the ecological and economic importance of this red alga a relatively important research literature exists and one of the recent achievements in C. crispus research is the sequencing of its genome. In this chapter we review some of the literature with the aim to promote C. crispus as a model organism for florideophyte red seaweeds. We consider subjects like commercial and historical uses, ecology, genetics, population structure, mating systems, physiology, cell wall biology and genomics. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.