Silene acaulis (L.) Jacq.

Moss Campion

Habitat: Gravelly, rocky barrens of alpine areas [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Circumboreal; south to the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire; west to Montana and Washington.

Aids to Identification: S. acaulis is a perennial herb that grows in clumped colonies densely matted together (pulvinate) to a height of 0.3-0.6 cm. The flowers are soliatry at the tips of branches with purple petals that are notched or entire.

Ecological characteristics: None noted.

Phenology: Flowers June - August.

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Synonyms: Also known as Silene acaulis (L.) Jacq. var. exscapa (All.) DC.; S. acaulis (L.) Jacq. ssp. arctica A. & D. Löve

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented in the following county: Piscataquis.

Dates of documented observations are: None noted.

Reason(s) for rarity: Near the southern limit of range. Habitat limited in Maine.

Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use. This plant may be extirpated from the state.