Sagartia elegans is a very variable species (see additional information), all varieties have a base up to 30 mm and this is wider than the column and closely adherent. The column is moderately tall and flares out towards the disk. The upper part of the column is has numerous white suckers which appear as white spots and cinclides (small pores) just visible as dark spots. Acontia (white defence threads) are freely emitted from cinclides when the anemone disturbed. The tentacles are moderate to long and there are approximately 200 of them spanning about 4 cm. . This species is often found in large aggregations and may live with their bases inside a hole in the substratum into which they retract into when disturbed. The colour of the column is variable; red, orange, brown whitish or greenish.