Giant Plumose Anemone   Metridium farcimen (giganteum)

The garden you see under water at the outer end of the Boston Harbor Marina is not populated by pretty flowers but a carnivorous animal.  The Giant Plumose can grow to over three feet in length and four inches wide and occurs in several colors from white, reddish-yellow to brown.  The animals shown are in the range of eight to 15 inches long.  Unlike it's smaller cousin, the plumose anemone (Mitridium senile, see small photograph), the giant plumose has more than 100 tentacles on an lobbed oral disk. The giant plumose uses stinging cells in the feathery tentacles surrounding their mouths to catch small animals called zooplankton.  

Predators include some nudibranchs and sea stars.

When mature the anemone releases sex products from its mouth into the water where fertilization takes place forming a planula larvae.   The larvae settle and grow into small anemones.  

Giant plumose anemones occur from the low intertidal zone into the subtidal in estuarine areas with low to moderate currents.  Ranging from Alaska to southern California and throughout the northern hemisphere, they inhabit hard surfaces, such as piling or wrecks, but have been seen riding on the backs of kelp crabs and red rock crabs.

Giant Plumous Anemone

See Video of Plumous Anemone

                                                            Plumous anemone