Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Silene acaulis (L.) Jacq. - Moss Campion
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Silene acaulis
© Paul Hackney
Silene acaulis
© Paul Hackney
Silene acaulis
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(Map updated: March 2008)
 

Moss campion is a very local arctic-alpine plant, confined in Northern Ireland to the cliff ledges on Binevenagh in County Londonderry, where it grows with two other arctic-alpines - mountain avens and purple saxifrage. This plant forms dense rounded cushions with the pinkish flowers on the surface of the cushion. It is abundant at Binevenagh where it flowers from May to July.

Today, arctic-alpines are species found on high mountains in Europe, or at high latitudes. Their populations in Ireland are remnants of the flora of an earlier climatic period following the end of the last ice-age, when plants now found in Scandinavia or in the Alps were more important members of the vegetation.

Other examples of plants of this kind are alpine saw-wort and yellow saxifrage.

All names: Silene acaulis (L.) Jacq.