Rock Flower Anemone: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Rock Flower Anemone Fact File

The rock flower anemone (Phymanthus crucifer) is a sea anemone, very popularly seen as a pet. This sea anemone is found in the Caribbean Sea. Its habitat consists of vertical rock walls and sand bottoms. It likes to remain attached to any strong substrate. In captivity, it flourishes in a reef tank.

Rock flower anemones are part of the Phymanthidae family and they have nearly 200 tentacles that contain venom. One of the most fascinating things about these anemones is the variety of colors they can be found in. They are also pretty easy to care for as they are a hardy species. As long as certain tank specifications are followed, rock flower anemones will certainly thrive. These anemones are carnivorous in nature and feed on zooplankton and small fishes in the wild. In captivity, they can be given various kinds of meaty foods. They are capable of living peacefully with members of their own genus but tend to show aggression towards other kinds of anemones. Fortunately, no known threats exist to this species.

For relatable content, check out these coral facts and brain coral facts for kids.

Rock Flower Anemone

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Small fish and zooplankton

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

6-7.8 in (15-20 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Red, orange, and purple

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them

Sandy bottoms and reef aquarium


The Caribbean Sea





Scientific Name

Phymanthus crucifer (Synonym: Epicystis crucifer)





Rock Flower Anemone Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a rock flower anemone?

The rock flower anemone or flower rock anemone, with the scientific name Phymanthus crucifer and synonym Epicystis crucifer, is a kind of sea anemone found in a variety of different colors. There are green rock flower anemone and red rock flower anemone.

What class of animal does a rock flower anemone belong to?

This anemone belongs to the class Anthozoa. It is a part of the Phymanthidae family and is also known as red beaded anemone or beaded anemone.

How many rock flower anemones are there in the world?

The population of rock flower anemones is not known. However, since this anemone is such a popular choice as a pet, it is believed that they have a stable population in the wild and in captivity.

Where does a rock flower anemone live?

These sea anemones are found in the Caribbean Sea across the West Indies.

What is a rock flower anemone's habitat?

The natural habitat of the rock flower anemone includes rock walls or sand bottoms. They are usually found 10-98 ft (3-29.8 m) underwater. These anemones are observed to attach themselves to hard surfaces under coral rubble or sand. Usually, only their tentacles and oral disk are visible. As a pet, a reef aquarium is ideal for this anemone.

Who do rock flower anemones live with?

Rock flower anemones can be kept in groups with members of their own species. However, since they are known to display aggression towards other kinds of anemones and corals, it is best to maintain a safe distance between them and any other kind of marine creature in a tank.

How long does a rock flower anemone live?

The lifespan of a rock flower anemone is not known. In general, anemones can live up to 80 years or more.

How do they reproduce?

Rock flower anemone propagation occurs both through sexual and asexual methods. They can multiply with the help of fission, when an anemone will split into two and form a clone. Sexual reproduction includes the formation of male and female gametes. In this species, the larvae develop inside the female anemone. Female rock flower anemones are known to have large eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the rock flower anemone is Not Evaluated by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature or IUCN. There seem to be no threats facing these anemones.

Rock Flower Anemone Fun Facts

What do rock flower anemones look like?

The rock flower anemone or beaded anemone is quite a spectacular species of anemone. This anemone has 200 tentacles that appear short, edging its flat disc. The tentacles have swollen crossbars and stinging nematocysts. However, some of these anemones may also be found with smooth tentacles. Light and dark stripes are observed to radiate outwards from the mouth. The most notable feature about this anemone is that it occurs in a variety of colors like red, orange, purple, and dull green. Interestingly, the rock flower anemone has a fluorescing variety, known as the ultra rock flower anemone.

A rock flower anemone should be kept in a reef tank.

How cute are they?

A rock flower anemone may not appear cute to everyone. However, the amazing colors this anemone species is found in are certainly fascinating.

How do they communicate?

The exact methods of communication in the rock flower anemone are not fully known. Nevertheless, it can be assumed their form of communication resembles other anemone species. In general, anemones are known to communicate using chemicals. If an anemone is attacked, it releases chemicals in its surroundings to warn other anemones about the looming danger.

How big is a rock flower anemone?

The rock flower anemone size can be as much as 6-7.8 in (15-20 cm) in length. The diameter of their column ranges between 2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm). The tentacles in this species can grow to be 6 in (15 cm) across. However, the rock flower anemone is much smaller in length than the giant green anemone which measures between 6.6-6.8 in (17-17.5 cm).

How fast can a rock flower anemone move?

Rock flower anemones are not known to move around all that much. They tend to bury their foot below the sand to attach to some surface and only their oral disk and tentacles remain visible. However, if they feel like they are under attack they retract quite quickly.

How much does a rock flower anemone weigh?

The exact weight of the rock flower anemone is not known. The various species of anemones have varied weights which can go up to as much as 440 lb (399,161 kg). However, since the rock flower anemone is a relatively smaller species, it can be assumed that its weight is only a few ounces.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female anemones of this species are known as male rock flower anemones and female rock flower anemones.

What would you call a baby rock flower anemone?

A baby rock flower anemone is known as a larva.

What do they eat?

Rock flower anemones or beaded anemones are carnivorous in nature. In a tank, these anemones are fed with chopped fish, shrimp, smaller mollusks, and other meaty foods or frozen foods. They also need trace elements and iodine in their tank to thrive. In their natural habitat, they resort to eating any small fish or plankton.

Are they dangerous?

There are no instances to suggest beaded anemones are dangerous to humans, but since they have venomous tentacles, they should be handled with care. Additionally, these anemones have been known to be semi-aggressive towards other species of anemones or corals.

Would they make a good pet?

Phymanthus crucifer is an excellent pet anemone species. Not only are they colorful, but they are also easy to care for and inexpensive. Being a hardy species, these anemones are suitable for novice anemone-keepers as well.

Did you know...

Unlike other anemones, there is no rock flower anemone and clownfish association. In fact, these anemones may end up attacking the fish.

How to provide quality rock flower anemone care?

Rock flower anemone placement should be made on vertical rock walls. It is essential to provide these anemones with a reef or sand environment, so investing in a reef aquarium would be ideal. They are carnivorous and should be fed chopped fish or meaty foods two to four times a week. The rock flower anemone tank should be cleaned twice a month. This species does well in low lighting and a temperature between 75-82 F  (23.9-27.8 C). The easiest way to acclimate this species to your aquarium is through drip acclimation. If you want to move your rock flower anemone from one tank to another, use a thin object to get under its foot and nudge it to remove itself from the previous surface.

Do rock flower anemones sting each other?

Rock flower anemones are not known to sting each other and can live in a rock flower anemone pack. However, these anemones can display aggressive behavior towards anemones of other species of corals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other anthozoa from our giant green anemone facts and fire coral facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in of our free printable sea anemone coloring pages.



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