MOSS CAMPION

Silene acaulis

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8pink
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

4th Sept 2011, Orkney, Scotland. Photo: © Phil And Ann Farrer
Growing on the sand shore, above the high tide mark.


Iceland Photo: © Philip Draper


Iceland Photo: © Philip Draper
A low spreading plant to 10cm high.


24th May 2009, Scotland. Photo: © Brent Clarkson
Flowers have five lilac coloured petals with shallow notches. The ten anthers have white pollen.


24th May 2009, Scotland. Photo: © Brent Clarkson
Un-opened flowers are encased in five beetroot coloured sepals.


24th May 2009, Scotland. Photo: © Brent Clarkson
Leaves are short, stiff, in whorls, with reddish pointed tips and bristles on the edges.


Some similarities to : Purple Saxifrage which also prefers to grow on mountains and to Fairy Foxglove (Erinus alpinus) which is grown on garden walls.

Not to be confused with: Mossy Saxifrage [a plant of similar name].

Similar habitat and form to: Cyphel (Minuartia sedoides) in that it grows in the Scottish Highlands and is a low mat-forming plant, but Cyphel has yellowish-green flowers.

Distinguishing Feature :

Moss Campion is a flower of the high mountains, restricting itself to a small section of mountain tops and rock ledges and screes in Snowdonia and possibly some Cumbrian Fells, but the greater proportion is to be found in the western mountains of northern Scotland, or near sea-level at the northernmost extremities. The tiny narrow leaves form a matted cushion. A very attractive plant, but often difficult to find.

It is a low-growing plant no higher than four inches. The flowers are rosy pink with five petals, some half inch across. The petals have a slight notch on the rounded the tip.

The fruit forms a 5-pointed dark-brown star which is held up on a pedestal.


  Silene acaulis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
family8carnation family8campion flower8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8silene
Silene
(Campions)

MOSS CAMPION

Silene acaulis

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]  

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