West Highland Flora

Moss Campion


Silene acaulis

 

Silene acaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Aug 2002 Scorrybreac, Skye

On mountain rocks and on sea cliffs in the north, quite widespread

Flower diameter c 10 mm

ID: Recognizable at a distance in June when its flower-covered cushions make a dazzling splash of colour on the cliffs.  At other times its close-packed ranks of star-like rosettes of channelled, sharply triangular leaves, spreading over the rocks like a moss, should identify it.

Other features: Flower colour varies from deep pink or mauve to whitish.  Male (10 stamens) and female (3 styles) flowers on separate plants.  Dark reddish calyx with 5 teeth, flowers with 5 slightly notched petals.  Fruit capsules have 6 teeth.

 

Left: female flower

 

Silene acaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
31 May 2003 Storr, Skye
Flowers 12 mm across
 

  Silene acaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
31 May 2003 Storr, Skye
 

Male flowers   Between flowering and fruiting

 

Silene acaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
22 Sep 2001 Storr, Skye
 

Leaf rosettes and fruit capsules, older leaves dying back by this time of year.

 

Silene acaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
(3 Jul 2002 Trondsbu, Norway)
 

Nearest I have so far to a picture of how it looks in its prime, when it is completely covered with flowers

 

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