Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Caryophyllales > Caryophyllaceae > Silene > Silene acaulis

Silene acaulis (moss campion; cushion-pink)

Wikipedia Abstract

Silene acaulis, known as 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. It is also called the compass plant, since the flowers appear first on the south side of the cushion. (Various other plants also have this name.)
View Wikipedia Record: Silene acaulis



Height [3]  2.0 inches (0.05 m)
Width [3]  6 inches (0.15 m)
Allergen Potential [1]  Medium-Low
Light Preference [4]  Mostly Sunny
Soil Acidity [4]  Moderate Acid
Soil Fertility [4]  Infertile
Soil Moisture [4]  Moist
Bee Flower Color [2]  Blue
Flower Color [2]  Pink
Edible [3]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Flower Type [3]  Hermaphrodite
Hazards [3]  Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it does contain saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish;
Leaf Type [3]  Evergreen
Lifespan [3]  Perennial
Pollinators [3]  Lepidoptera, Insects, Lepidoptera
Structure [5]  Herb
Usage [3]  Plants form a rooting carpet and can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 25cm apart each way;
View Plants For A Future Record : Silene acaulis

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Andakill Protected Habitat Area 7626 Iceland      
Aulavik National Park II 3021211 Northwest Territories, Canada
Auyuittuq National Park II 4808115 Nunavut, Canada
Banff National Park II 1690912 Alberta, Canada
Beinn a`Ghlo 19978 Scotland, United Kingdom
Beinn Dearg 34221 Scotland, United Kingdom
Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve   Scotland, United Kingdom
Beinn Iadain and Beinn na h`Uamha 1297 Scotland, United Kingdom
Ben Alder and Aonach Beag 16453 Scotland, United Kingdom
Ben Heasgarnich 6870 Scotland, United Kingdom
Ben Lawers 12423 Scotland, United Kingdom
Ben Lui 5089 Scotland, United Kingdom
Ben Nevis 23023 Scotland, United Kingdom
Ben Wyvis 13313 Scotland, United Kingdom
Berchtesgaden Alps National Park II 51433 Germany
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve Ib 2823882 Alaska, United States
Caenlochan 12860 Scotland, United Kingdom
Cairngorms 142543 Scotland, United Kingdom
Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands 354692 Scotland, United Kingdom
Cape Breton Highlands National Park II 234333 Nova Scotia, Canada  
Cape Krusenstern National Monument III 604302 Alaska, United States
Denali Biosphere Reserve 1932364 Alaska, United States
Drumochter Hills 23340 Scotland, United Kingdom
Eryri/ Snowdonia 48773 Wales, United Kingdom  
Fannich Hills 23816 Scotland, United Kingdom
Foinaven 36684 Scotland, United Kingdom
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Ib 591068 Alaska, United States
Glacier National Park II 953799 Montana, United States
Glen Coe 7329 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Gros Morne National Park II 476632 Newfoundland, Canada
Hoy 23474 Scotland, United Kingdom
Inverpolly 29349 Scotland, United Kingdom
Ivvavik National Park II 2382752 Yukon, Canada
Jasper National Park II 2776809 Alberta, Canada
Katmai National Park and Preserve Ib 421782 Alaska, United States
Kenai Fjords National Park Ib 574822 Alaska, United States
Kluane National Park and Reserve National Park Reserve II 5463436 Yukon, Canada
Kootenay National Park II 341762 British Columbia, Canada
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Ib 386679 Alaska, United States
Lake District High Fells 66717 England, United Kingdom
Laplandskiy Biosphere Reserve 757114 Russia  
Loch Maree Complex 38882 Scotland, United Kingdom
Meall na Samhna 4653 Scotland, United Kingdom
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve II 20461 Quebec, Canada
Mount Revelstoke National Park Ia 18 British Columbia, Canada
Mousa 1311 Scotland, United Kingdom
Nahanni National Park Reserve II 1309627 Northwest Territories, Canada
North Harris 32450 Scotland, United Kingdom
Olympic Biosphere Reserve II 922805 Washington, United States
Quttinirpaaq (Ellesmere Island) National Park Reserve II 9436606 Nunavut, Canada
Ronas Hill – North Roe 12110 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Rum 26775 Scotland, United Kingdom
Sirmilik National Park II 5475284 Canada
St Kilda 62932 Scotland, United Kingdom    
Strathglass Complex 58277 Scotland, United Kingdom
Sunart 25320 Scotland, United Kingdom
Tingon 1407 Scotland, United Kingdom    
Trotternish Ridge 7834 Scotland, United Kingdom
Tuktut Nogait National Park II 5761538 Northwest Territories, Canada
Ukkusiksalik National Park II   Nunavut, Canada
Vuntut National Park II 1076795 Yukon, Canada
Yellowstone Biosphere Reserve II 2196863 Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, United States
Yoho National Park II 317576 British Columbia, Canada



Delia piliventris[6]
Eupithecia venosata (Netted Pug)[6]
Hadena confusa (Marbled Coronet)[6]
Jaapiella alpina[6]
Ochotona princeps (pika)[7]
Ovis dalli (Dall's sheep)[8]
Papestra biren (Glaucous Shears)[6]
Phaeosphaeria silenes-acaulis[9]
Plectrophenax nivalis (Snow Bunting)[9]
Pleospora androsaces[9]
Polymixis xanthomista (Black-banded Polymixis)[6]
Zygaena exulans (Mountain Burnet)[6]


Pollinated by 
Bombus polaris (Bumblebee)[10]
Clossiana chariclea (Arctic Fritillary)[9]
Colias hecla (artic sulphur)[9]
Parasyrphus tarsatus[9]
Platycheirus hyperboreus[9]
Sympistis lapponica[9]


Parasitized by 
Microbotryum silenes-acaulis[9]


North America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Derived from Allergy-Free Gardening OPALS™, Thomas Leo Ogren (2000)
2Arnold SEJ, Faruq S, Savolainen V, McOwan PW, Chittka L, 2010 FReD: The Floral Reflectance Database — A Web Portal for Analyses of Flower Colour. PLoS ONE 5(12): e14287.
3Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
4ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
5Kattge, J. et al. (2011b) TRY - a global database of plant traits Global Change Biology 17:2905-2935
6Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
7Disparate determinants of summer and winter diet selection of a general herbivore, Ochotona princeps, M. Denise Dearing, Oecologia (1996) 108:467-478
8Making The Forest And Tundra Wildlife Connection
9Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
10Insect-flower associations in the high Arctic with special reference to nectar., Hocking, B. 1968. Oikos 19:359-388
Protected Areas provided by Ramsar Sites Information Service
Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access