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Big Blue Conservation - Hard Coral Growth Forms

Hard coral grows in a wide vari ety of shapes and sizes depending on amount of available light, wave movement and current. There are a huge amount of variations but the images and information below outlines the main ones.


These corals grow in a tree like shape with relatively long primary and secondary branches and small polyps. Often, damsel fish and hermit crabs can be found living within the branches of the branching coral.


Grows in a vase-like formation, often resembling a flower and has small polyps.


Grows in lots small branching corals with the branches having many smaller offshoots.


Grows in thin flat layered sheets with dense coral polyps.


Similar to submassive but the shapes are more defined and often resemble a finger like structure but has no secondary branches like Corymbose or branching.


Grows in a spherical or hemispherical boulder like growth, with larger polyps.


Similar to the massive but has a lumpier structure and smaller polyps.


Corals which grow on rocks or hard substrate and expand in diameter, not height.


A table-like structure made up of small, tightly packed branches.


Singular corals that are made up of one large polyp, often mushroom shaped.