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SILENE acaulis

Image of Silene acaulis

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Botanical Name

SILENE acaulis

Plant Common Name

Moss Campion

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Bright green, needle-like leaves cheerfully support the deep pink blossoms in summer on the quaint moss campion. A circumboreal evergreen perennial, that is, native to the mountains of the lands closest the North Pole, the very dwarf plant forms low mounds that resembles tufts of moss.

The thin, bright green leaves form a low and rounded cushion. In summertime, small five petaled flowers with two notches at the tip of each petal appear on the plant, nearly covering all the foliage if soil is moist. The fragrant flowers are deep pink but range into pink and pale pink, too. Butterflies will visit the blossoms.

Grow moss campion in full sun to very light shade in a fertile and well-draining soil that is moist. It is best cultured in soils that are not acidic. In gardens, flowering often is not as abundant as it would be in natural scree conditions on the mountainsides, but still worthwhile. Use it as an accent among rocks in the cool-temperature rock garden, alpine house, trough or tucked in a stone retaining wall's crevices. This plant does not tolerate excessive heat or prolonged summers well.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    5 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 6

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1"-2" / 2.5cm - 5.1cm

  • Width

    4"-8" / 10.2cm - 20.3cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    North America, Northwestern United States, Alaska, Canada, Europe, Northern Europe, Russia/Siberia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Light Pink, Hot Pink

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No