Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Cabbage Leather Coral

Sinularia brassica

This soft coral is often found in low growing colonies attached to harder substrates such as rubble or other dead corals. This coral is named “cabbage leather” due to its ruffed presence and leathery texture.

Range & Habitat

In the Wild: This coral species range contains areas in the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific. Most colonies are found near the shore in shallow waters on reef flats and lagoons. Due to the species durability, they survive and thrive in highly turbid waters.

Exhibit location: USS Antiquities

Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

Threats: Coral bleaching due to warming waters, water pollution and disease, causing the coral to expel their colored algae, zooxanthellae. Thus, the coral cannot produce enough food and oxygen to stay alive and die off.


In the Wild: Due to corals’ symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae algae living with their tissues, the zooxanthellae produce food and nutrients for the coral via photosynthesis. The Cabbage Leather Coral can use its polyps to contain nutrients from drifting microscopic food in the water.

In Human Care: Proper lighting for successful photosynthesis. In some cases, they may be fed microplankton if light sources are not producing a high enough concentration of light to support zooxanthellae.

Life Span


Fun Facts about the Cabbage Leather Coral

  • Other common names: Flower Leather Coral, Flat Leather Coral, Lobed Leather Coral, Carpet Coral, Lettuce
  • Coral Cabbage Leather Coral releases toxic terpenes which ward off other encroaching corals. 
  • Cabbage Leather corals’ have retractable autozooid (feeding) polyps primarily found on the edges of their ‘leaves’.
  • Sinulaira Brassica reproduce via self-breaking branches or fragmenting.


Cabbage Leather Coral+Sinularia dura. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Animal Details ( retrieved July 9, 2021.

Cabbage Leather Coral. Animal-World Pet & Animal Information. Cabbage Leather Coral, Sinularia dura, Soft Coral Information, Flower Leather Coral Care and Cabbage Coral Pictures (


Updated June 13, 2023
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