Small specimens usually candelabrum with few branches; larger speciemsn bushy, sometimes profusely branched. Branches arise throughout colony, not just near base; to at least 50 cm tall.
Cylindrical, soft, flexible, to 35 cm long and 3-5 mm across.
Circular or oblong and compressed along branch axis; calyx with thick, smooth lower lip.
Beige, dark yellow to ochre; occasionally purple. Dries (and in alcohol) tan or lavender gray with some ochre in calyx and dark brown apertures. Light brown polyps.
Polyp armature: scarce small rods. Axial layer: Deep purple spindles 0.4 mm long, slender with simple processes or stout with complex tubercles. Middle layer: slender purple spindles 0.8-1.0 mm long. Surface layer: purple spindles with strong thorns on one side, and colorless torches with sharp and narrow pointed lobes. Clubs toward colony base (sometimes also in terminal branches) often coarse, stout, with short tuberculate handles and elaborately foliate or exceptionally ornate heads.
Waters with moderate wave exposure, from shallow depths to 25 m.
Bahamas, South Florida, and uncommon in the Caribbean Sea