Flustra foliacea forms a stiff but flexible bushy clump 6 -10 cm high, occasionally up to 20cm high. Flustra foliacea is much divided into fronds that are usually broadly lobed, occasionally strap-like, and made up of zooids (individuals) on both sides (bilaminar). Fronds are light grey to brown in colour. Zooids are tongue shaped, 0.4 mm long and 0.2 - 0.28 mm wide. They bear 4 to 5 marginal club-like spines at the broad (distal) end of each zooid. The fronds have a distinct smell of lemons when freshly collected. Hornwrack is sometimes found washed ashore after storms.Flustra foliacea forms only a flat incrustation during its first year of growth, erect growth occurs in subsequent years. Fronds can often be encrusted by other bryozoans, hydroids and sedentary polychaetes.
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