Moss Campion

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Lawn & Garden

Moss campion is a type of plant that has small, reddish-purple flowers and grows close to the ground.

During spring and summer, moss campion can be distinguished from ordinary moss by its flowers.

Characteristics of moss campion: This plant forms a small pile of thin, pointed leaves that are only two inches tall but can spread up to 18 inches wide. The flowers, which have five petals and notches, are a reddish-purple color and are quite large compared to the plant’s size. They grow on 4-inch stalks and bloom from late spring to midsummer. Moss campion is easy to care for.

Growing moss campion: Plant this plant in deep, well-drained soil that has a lot of grit and is located in full sunlight.

Propagating moss campion: This plant can be propagated through division, cuttings, and seeds.

Uses for moss campion: Moss campion thrives in dry conditions and is best suited for tight rock crevices. It is ideal for small rock gardens where its flowers can stand out.

Related species of moss campion: Several varieties of moss campion exist, including a white-flowered type (Silene acaulis Alba) and a double, purplish-pink type (S. a. Cenisia). Alpine catchfly (Silene quadrifida, also sold as S. alpestris), which has white flowers, and Schafta campion (S. Schafta), which has pink flowers, grow taller (up to 12 inches) but are otherwise similar to moss campion.

Scientific name of moss campion: Silene acaulis

For more information, check out the following articles:

  • Rock Garden Plants: Learn about which flowers and plants work best in rock gardens.
  • Gardening: Start with our gardening guide for all of the basics.
  • Rock Gardens: Get all of your rock garden questions answered.


1. What is Moss Campion?

Moss Campion, scientifically known as Silene acaulis, is a small flowering plant that grows in rocky alpine environments. It is a member of the carnation family and is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Moss Campion is a low-growing perennial plant that forms dense cushions of foliage and produces small pink or purple flowers in the summer months.

2. What are the growing conditions for Moss Campion?

Moss Campion is commonly found in high alpine environments where the soil is thin and well-drained. It prefers full sun exposure and can tolerate harsh weather conditions, such as cold temperatures, high winds, and intense sunlight. Moss Campion is also known to grow well in rock gardens and alpine meadows.

3. How do you care for Moss Campion?

Moss Campion requires very little care once established. It is a hardy plant that can survive in harsh environments with minimal water and nutrients. However, it does require well-drained soil to prevent root rot. In garden settings, it is recommended to plant Moss Campion in rock gardens or alpine meadows with full sun exposure. It can be propagated through seed or division of the plant in the spring or early fall.

4. What are the benefits of growing Moss Campion?

Moss Campion is a beautiful and unique addition to any garden or rockery. Its small size and low-growing habit make it an excellent groundcover plant, and its pink or purple flowers add a pop of color to any landscape. Additionally, Moss Campion is a hardy plant that requires very little care, making it an ideal choice for low-maintenance landscaping projects.

5. Are there any pests or diseases that affect Moss Campion?

Moss Campion is generally resistant to most pests and diseases. However, it can be susceptible to root rot if grown in poorly-drained soil. Additionally, overwatering or excessive fertilization can lead to lush foliage growth at the expense of flower production. To avoid these issues, it is important to plant Moss Campion in well-drained soil and avoid overwatering or over-fertilizing the plant.

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