Column variable in form when not buried, from short, almost spherical, to fairly elongated and sausage-shaped, often with circular constrictions; in full extension (when buried) it is elongated, up to 300 mm in length and 25 mm diameter. True periderm is absent but often a thin, deciduous mucous sheath is present or, in freshly collected specimens, the column may be covered with sand or gravel.
Tentacles: Tentacles 12, capable of becoming very long but remaining short when the anemone is not buried. Conchula basically three-lobed but often subdivided into a number of smaller lobes.
Colouration: Column translucent, flesh-coloured, buff or brownish, irregularly streaked and speckled with brown or reddish, these markings very variable in extent. A ring of white markings encircles the lower limit of the capitulum. Disc and tentacles pale translucent greyish-brown, usually with a pattern carried out in various shades of brown, cream and white. Occasionally the disc is plain opaque white and in young specimens the pattern may be indistinct or absent.
Burrowing in sand or gravel; occasionally on the shore around LWST but more typically an offshore species occurring down to about 50 m. This species is the only British burrowing anemone capable of existing in the relatively unstable sands of semi-exposed beaches, probably due to its large size and consequent ability to bury itself deeply into the substratum.
Frequent to locally abundant on all coasts of the British Isles and western Europe generally, occasional in the Mediterranean.