Silene acaulis

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Silene acaulis
Fjellsmelle.jpg
Silene acaulis in Svalbard
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Species: S. acaulis
Subfamilies
  • Silene acaulescens
  • Silene acaulis var. exscapa

Silene acaulis, moss campion, or Cushion Pink is a small mountain-dwelling wildflower that is common all over the high arctic and tundra in the higher mountains of Eurasia and North America, (south to the Alps, Carpathians, southern Siberia, Pyrenees, British Isles, Faroe Islands, Rocky Mountains). It is an evergreen perennial.

Description[edit]

Mosscampionclose.jpg

Moss campion is a low, ground-hugging plant.It may seem densely matted and moss-like.[1] The dense cushions are up to a foot or more in diameter. The plants are usually about 2" tall but may be as much as 6". The bright, green leaves are narrow and arise from the base of the plant. The dead leaves from the previous season persist for years, and pink flowers are borne singly on short stalks up to 1 and 1/2" long, but are usually much shorter. It usually has pink flowers and very rarely they will be white.[2] The flowers are solitary and star-shaped. They are about 1.2 cm wide. They usually appear in June through August.[3] The flowers are held by a calyx which makes it firm and thick.[4] The flowers are pollinated by Lepidoptera and are hermaphrodites meaning they are both sexes.[5]

The sepals are joined together into a tube that conceals the base of the entire petals. The 10 stamen and 3 styles extend well beyond the throat of the flower.[6] Its genus is closely related to carnations, and it is circumpolar.[7] The stems and leaves are sticky and viscid to the tough, which may discourage ants and beetles from climbing on the plant.[8] Its variety exscapa has shorter flowering stems. The other variety subacaulescens from Wyoming and Colorado has pale pink flowers all summer.[9]

Habitat[edit]

Alpine fellfield, on windswept rocky ridges and summits above treeline. It grows mainly in dry, gravelly localities, but also in damper places. With the cushions it produces its own, warmer climate with high temperatures inside, when the sun shines.[10]

Distribution/Range[edit]

USDA North American distribution of Silene acaulis (L.) Jacq.

Common all over the high arctic and the higher mountains of Eurasia and North America, (south to the Alps, Carpathians, southern Siberia, Pyrenees, British Isles, Faroe Islands, Rocky Mountains, ). In the United States it inhabits Colorado, the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, the Wallowa Mountains of Oregon, the Olympics, the northern Cascades of Washington and Alaska.[11]

Range:

  • USA (AK, AZ, CO, ID, ME, MT, NH, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY)
  • CAN (AB, BC, LB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT)
  • DEN (GL), FRA (SPM)

Propagation[edit]

The seeds should be sown early in the spring time. Put the seedlings into separate pots, and it is recommended to let them winter in the greenhouse for their first winter season. To clean them rub the capsules through a screen. It's advised to plant them in the late spring or early summer because division takes place in the spring. They should be grown in well-drained soil with full sun. The climate can be cool.[12]

Endangered Information[edit]

In Maine it is possibly extirpated,[13] and in New Hampshire Silene acaulis var. exscapa is threatened.[14]

History[edit]

Plants in Colorado have been estimated to reach 75 to 100 years in age, and Alaskan plants may reach 300 years. The oldest known Moss campion is 350 years old and has a diameter of two feet.[15] The plant used to be used for children with colic.[16] The raw root skin plants were consumed as a vegetable in Iceland and in Arctic regions.[17]

Hazards/Toxicity[edit]

There is no listing that moss campion is toxic but it does have saponins which are toxic. They are toxic but hard to absorb in the body. They can be broken down by thorough cooking. Its advised to not consume large amounts of this plant.

Classification[edit]

  • Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Subclass: Caryophyllidae
  • Order: Caryophyllales
  • Family: Caryophyllaceae – Pink family
  • Genus: Silene L. – catchfly
  • Species: Silene acaulis (L.) Jacq. – moss campion

[18]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Benedict, Audrey D. The Naturalist's Guide to the Southern Rockies: Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and Northern New Mexico. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Pub., 2008. Print.
  • European Garden Flora, Vol. III.
  • Phillips, W. (1999). Central Rocky Mountain Wildflowers : A Field Guide to Common Wildflowers, Shrubs, and Trees. Falcon Publishing, Inc.
  • Weber, William A. Colorado Flora. Boulder, CO: Colorado Associated UP, 1987. Print.
  • USDA. "Plants Profile." Natural Resources Conservation Service. Web. <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SIAC>.
  • Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  • Zwinger, Ann, and Beatrice E. Willard. Land above the Trees: a Guide to American Alpine Tundra. Boulder, CO: Johnson, 1996. Print.
  • "Silene Acaulis - (L.)Jacq." Plants for a Future. Web. <http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene+acaulis>.
  • Ceralde, Jason. Plant Propagation Protocol for Silene Acaulis (L.) Jacq. 11 May 2011. Web. <http://courses.washington.edu/esrm412/protocols/SIAC.pdf>.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Weber, William A. Colorado Flora. Boulder, CO: Colorado Associated UP, 1987. Print.
  2. ^ Weber, William A. Colorado Flora. Boulder, CO: Colorado Associated UP, 1987. Print.
  3. ^ Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  4. ^ Zwinger, Ann, and Beatrice E. Willard. Land above the Trees: a Guide to American Alpine Tundra. Boulder, CO: Johnson, 1996. Print.
  5. ^ http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene+acaulis
  6. ^ Phillips, W (1999). Central Rocky Mountain Wildflowers: A Field Guide to Common Wildflowers, Shrubs, and Trees. Falcon Publishing, Inc.
  7. ^ Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  8. ^ Zwinger, Ann, and Beatrice E. Willard. Land above the Trees: a Guide to American Alpine Tundra. Boulder, CO: Johnson, 1996. Print.
  9. ^ Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  10. ^ Benedict, Audrey D. The Naturalist's Guide to the Southern Rockies: Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and Northern New Mexico. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Pub., 2008. Print.
  11. ^ Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  12. ^ http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene+acaulis
  13. ^ USDA plant profile
  14. ^ http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SIAC
  15. ^ Benedict, Audrey D. The Naturalist's Guide to the Southern Rockies: Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and Northern New Mexico. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Pub., 2008. Print.
  16. ^ http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene+acaulis
  17. ^ http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene+acaulis
  18. ^ USDA. "Plants Profile." Natural Resources Conservation Service. Web. <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SIAC>.

External links[edit]