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 between 6 and 12 mm wide, with hermaphrodite flowers being larger than the female flowers.[3] Female flowers produce better quality seeds than hermaphrodites [4] and male flowers produce better quality pollen than hermaphrodites.[5] The cushions can change the gender of flower between years.[6] Gender frequences change with altitude, the frequency female flowers increasing with higher elevation.[7] They usually appear in June through August.[8] The flowers are held by a calyx which makes it firm and thick.[9] The flowers are female, male or hermaphrodites.[10]

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.[11] Its genus is closely related to carnations, and it is circumpolar.[12] The stems and leaves are sticky and viscid to the tough, which may discourage ants and beetles from climbing on the plant.[13] Its variety exscapa has shorter flowering stems. The other variety subacaulescens from Wyoming and Colorado has pale pink flowers all summer.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

Endangered Information[edit]

In Maine it is possibly extirpated,[18] and in New Hampshire Silene acaulis var. exscapa is threatened.[19]

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.[20] The plant used to be used for children with colic.[21] The raw root skin plants were consumed as a vegetable in Iceland and in Arctic regions.[22]

Climate warming impact[edit]

Experimental warming has been shown to start flowering substantially earlier than control cushions experiencing ambient temperature. Both the male and female phases developed faster in the OTCs and capsules (fruits) matured earlier, and the cushions produced more mature seeds and had a higher seed/ovule ratio contributing to an overall positive response in reproductive term.[23] However, a study on four populations across a latitudinal gradient in North America showed that southern populations of moss campion had lower survival and recruitment, but higher individual growth rates than more northern populations. Furthermore, vital rates such as growth, survival, and fruits per area were shown to increase in moderately warmer years yet declined in the very warmest years, suggesting that a change in climate into warmer conditions or more frequent unusually warm summers may eventually lead to negative impacts.[24] Another study showed that while the short term responses were positive, they turned negative on medium-term, suggestion that moss campion may at at risk in future global warming.[25]

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

[26]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Alatalo, J.M. and Molau, U. 1995. Effect of altitude on the sex ratio in populations of Silene acaulis. – Nordic Journal of Botany. 15: 251-256. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.1995.tb00150.x
  • Alatalo, J.M. 1997. Gender lability in trioecious Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae). – Nordic Journal of Botany. 17 (2): 181-183. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.1997.tb00307.x
  • Alatalo JM, Totland Ø (1997) Response to simulated climatic change in an alpine and subarctic pollen‐risk strategist, Silene acaulis. Glob Chang Biol 3:74–79. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.1997.gcb133.x
  • Alatalo, J.M. and Molau, U. 2001. Pollen viability and limitation of seed production in a population of the circumpolar cushion plant, Silene acaulis. – Nordic Journal of Botany. 21 (4): 365-372. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.2001.tb00780.x
  • Alatalo, J.M. and Little, C.J. 2014. Simulated global change: contrasting short and medium term growth and reproductive responses of a common alpine/Arctic cushion plant to experimental warming and nutrient enhancement. – SpringerPlus 3:157. doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-157
  • Benedict, Audrey D. The Naturalist's Guide to the Southern Rockies: Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and Northern New Mexico. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Pub., 2008. Print.
  • Doak DF, Morris WF (2010) Demographic compensation and tipping points in climate-induced range shifts. Nature 467:959–62. doi: 10.1038/nature09439
  • 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.
  • Shykoff, J. A. 1988. Maintenance of gynodioecy in Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae): Stage specific fecundity and viability selection. - Am. J. Bot. 75: 844-850.
  • 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. ^ Alatalo, J.M. and Molau, U. 1995. Effect of altitude on the sex ratio in populations of Silene acaulis. – Nordic Journal of Botany. 15: 251-256. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.1995.tb00150.x
  4. ^ Shykoff, J. A. 1988. Maintenance of gynodioecy in Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae): Stage specific fecundity and viability selection. - Am. J. Bot. 75: 844-850.
  5. ^ Alatalo, J.M. and Molau, U. 2001. Pollen viability and limitation of seed production in a population of the circumpolar cushion plant, Silene acaulis. – Nordic Journal of Botany. 21 (4): 365-372. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.2001.tb00780.x
  6. ^ Alatalo, J. M. (1997), Gender lability in trioecious Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae). Nordic Journal of Botany, 17: 181–183. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.1997.tb00307.x
  7. ^ Alatalo, J.M. and Molau, U. 1995. Effect of altitude on the sex ratio in populations of Silene acaulis. – Nordic Journal of Botany. 15: 251-256. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.1995.tb00150.x
  8. ^ Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  9. ^ Zwinger, Ann, and Beatrice E. Willard. Land above the Trees: a Guide to American Alpine Tundra. Boulder, CO: Johnson, 1996. Print.
  10. ^ http://www.amjbot.org/content/85/6/784.short
  11. ^ Phillips, W (1999). Central Rocky Mountain Wildflowers: A Field Guide to Common Wildflowers, Shrubs, and Trees. Falcon Publishing, Inc.
  12. ^ Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  13. ^ Zwinger, Ann, and Beatrice E. Willard. Land above the Trees: a Guide to American Alpine Tundra. Boulder, CO: Johnson, 1996. Print.
  14. ^ Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  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. ^ Nicholls, Graham, and Rick Lupp. Alpine Plants of North America: an Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska. Portland: Timber, 2002. Print.
  17. ^ http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene+acaulis
  18. ^ USDA plant profile
  19. ^ http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SIAC
  20. ^ Benedict, Audrey D. The Naturalist's Guide to the Southern Rockies: Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and Northern New Mexico. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Pub., 2008. Print.
  21. ^ http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene+acaulis
  22. ^ http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene+acaulis
  23. ^ Alatalo JM, Totland Ø (1997) Response to simulated climatic change in an alpine and subarctic pollen‐risk strategist, Silene acaulis. Glob Chang Biol 3:74–79. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.1997.gcb133.x
  24. ^ Doak DF, Morris WF (2010) Demographic compensation and tipping points in climate-induced range shifts. Nature 467:959–62. doi: 10.1038/nature09439
  25. ^ Alatalo, J.M. and Little, C.J. 2014. Simulated global change: contrasting short and medium term growth and reproductive responses of a common alpine/Arctic cushion plant to experimental warming and nutrient enhancement. – SpringerPlus 3:157.
  26. ^ USDA. "Plants Profile." Natural Resources Conservation Service. Web. <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SIAC>.

External links[edit]