Jewel anemone

Jewel anemone

Scientific name: Corynactis viridis
It's easy to see where the jewel anemone got its name - the tiny colourful blobs that tip its tentacles look like jewels! Forming dense, colourful carpets on rocky overhangs, jewel anemones are one of the UK's most beautiful underwater sights.

Species information


Height: up to 1.5cm tall, 2.5cm across

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Jewel anemones come in a stunning array of colours: pink, purple, yellow, green, orange and more. The live on hard surfaces beneath the sea, from rocky outcrops to pier legs. Each anemone has around 100 tentacles, each with a small round blob on the end. These little blobs are white or another contrasting colour to their body and look a lot like little jewels! Jewel anemones reproduce asexually - meaning a single anemone will split into two anemones. This can create a beautiful patchwork effect where they live - with those of each colour budding from a single individual. They feed on small shrimps and fish that they catch with their stinging tentacles. They live in shallow waters down to between 50 and 80m.

How to identify

A small anemone-like animal with a rings of short tentacles each tipped with a small coloured or white blob. They are brightly coloured and form dense carpets on rocks or other hard surfaces in shallow waters down to a maximum of 80m.


Found around South and West Coasts of Britain, largely absent from the East Coast.

Did you know?

Jewel anemones are more closely related to corals than to other anemone species. Truth be told, they aren't really anemones at all!

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts are working with sea users, scientists, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust or checking out our Action Pages.