A medium-sized (4.5-5.0 cm wingspan) mottled rusty red-brown moth. The forewings are red-brown with darker patches in the median and terminal areas. There is short basal dash, and two blackish patches on the terminal area divided by a pale w-mark. Antemedian and post-median lines pale, the later curving inward near upper margin. The orbicular and reniform spots are indistinct, marked only by a few paler scales. Fringe checkered red and dark brown. Hindwings sooty brown, with a faint dark discal mark and red-brown fringe. Antennae simple; sexes similar. Male genitalia with ampullae strongly developed, and digitus perhaps the largest in genus. Basal hair pencils present on the abdomen. The strong W-mark separating two darker terminal patches separates lignicolora from other red-brown Apamea, i.e. vultuosa, dubitans and scoparia.