Moss campion

(Silene acaulis)



The moss campion is common in the northern hemisphere and is found in Europe and North America. You’ll find it in Canada, Greenland, the Pyrenees, the Carpathians as well as in Scandinavia. In the Alps, it thrives at up to 3,600 m above sea level. In the Ötztal Alps, it is quite common on primary rock. It thrives in gappy, alpine turf and in rocky habitats.



The moss campion grows only up to some 3 cm high. The stalks are only one-flowered, with the flower being a strong, glowing purple pink and thus very attractive to insects. Because the flowers of many plants stand densely packed together, they are easy to see from afar. The foliage leaves are only up to some 8 mm long and stand upright.


Special features

The moss campion is also called “cushion pink” thanks to its cushion-shaped growth. This growth form is an adaption to the extreme climate at high altitudes. In the cushion, moisture and warmth keep quite well, so that a favourable microclimate is ensured in the population. The cushions of the moss campion can reach a diameter of 1 m up to even 2 m and get up to 100 years old.



In North Tyrol, the moss campion is currently not endangered and not under conservation.



Larcher, W., Kainmüller, C. & Wagner, J. (2010): Survival types of high mountain plants under extreme temperatures. Flora, 205: 3–18.

[Translate to en:] Stängelloses Leimkraut (Silene acaulis) ©Roland Mayer - Naturpark Ötztal