A small red seaweed growing up to 30 cm tall. It has a filamentous frond that is irregularly and dichotomously branched, with the branches narrowing towards pincer-like tips. The holdfast is a minute conical disc that extend into a dense mass of rhizoidal filaments. The plant is reddish-brown to purple in colour and has a banded appearance when viewed closely.Discrimination of separate species of Ceramium is often difficult. This species can be identified with certainty only by careful microscopic observation and in the field can be easily confused with other species of Ceramium with similar morphology namely Ceramium botryocarpum, Ceramium pallidum and Ceramium secundatum (F. Rindi, pers. comm.). The above taxonomy uses the recent nomenclature from Hardy & Guiry (2003). The confusion concerning Ceramium nodulosum and Ceramium rubrum was discussed by Maggs et al. (2002).
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