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sea-belt (sugar kelp) The common name for the brown seaweed Laminaria saccharina. The thallus consists of a branched, root-like holdfast, a smooth, slender stipe, and a yellowish-olive frond which is single and ribbon-like with an undulating central region and frilly margins. When dry, a whitish, sweet-tasting deposit sometimes appears on the surface of the fronds, hence the alternative name of sugar kelp. Another alternative name is poor man's weatherglass, since under humid conditions the fronds remain soft and limp, whereas under dry conditions they become hard and brittle.