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Purple Cespitularia

Cespitularia is one of the most difficult to find soft corals on the market. Known for its beautiful waving stalks, Cespitularia develops a wonderful blue/purple hue. These coral frags are typically between 1" to 2" long.

 Cespitularia Care

Cespitularia do not require any specialized care and can thrive in many different styles of reef aquarium. Please see below for additional care tips for Sympodium as well as checking out our Top 5 Tips for setting up a reef.


Cespitularia are found all over the islands of the Indopacific including Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef. All of the Cespitularia propagated at Tidal Gardens comes from Australia.


Cespitularia are adaptable to a wide range of lighting, however they change color dramatically depending on the light provided. If you have particularly intense lighting, we recommend starting the corals in lower light areas to allow them time to adjust. Here at the greenhouse we've noticed that extremely intense light in the summer time makes them a light blue color while relatively dim light in the winter months turns the colonies a two-tone purple and blue.

Low Light

Low light translates to about 30-50 PAR

Medium Light

Medium Light is between 50-150 PAR

High Light

High Light is anything over 150 PAR

Lighting is a loaded topic, so for a more in-depth discussion of lighting, please see our Deep Dive article.

 Water Flow

Moderate to high water movement is recommended.


Lately we have been testing some foods designed for filter feeders and Cespitularia seem to respond favorably to it. In the past we did not take the time to spot feed these soft corals, but our initial observations are encouraging.

 Word of Caution

Cespitularia are notoriously poor shippers and their mortality rate is unacceptably high. If you receive a colony from us that does not survive shipping, please notify us and we can process a refund.


This genus for the most part has been propagated extensively in captivity and is an excellent candidate for aquaculture. It is reasonable to believe that a sustainable harvest can be achieved in time despite the issues with transportation.


Proper acclimation is extremely important considering the stress imposed on the animals by the shipping process. Please take a moment to review our Acclimation Guide.


The images were taken with a Canon 5D mk II and 100mm macro lens under T5 Fluorescent lighting. Quite a lot goes into how we go about shooting the corals and anemones you see on Tidal Gardens. For an in-depth look at our methods, check out our comprehensive Reef Aquarium Photography FAQ.

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