Colonies are large, usually dome-shaped. They are flabello-meandroid with closely compacted elongate valleys. Despite a robust appearance, large colonies readily break apart. Polyps have a thick fleshy mantle which obscures the underlying skeletal structure and thus this species appears to be a Symphyllia underwater. If the mantle is touched it retracts revealing the underlying growth-form, where valleys have no walls in common. The mantle is covered with elongate papillae that may resemble tentacles.