Moss Campion

By: C. Colston Burrell
Moss campion is a low-growing plant that develops reddish-purple flowers.

This low-growing plant looks much like moss except when it blooms in spring and summer.

Description of moss campion: Moss campion forms a low mound of narrow, pointed leaves only 2 inches high but up to 18 inches across. The five-petaled, notched flowers are reddish purple and quite large for the size of the plant: 1/2-inch diameter on 4-inch stalks. The flowers appear from late spring to midsummer. Ease of care: Easy.


Growing moss campion: Plant in deep, well-drained gritty soil in full sun.

Propagating moss campion: By division, cuttings, and seed.

Uses for moss campion: Moss campion likes dry conditions and does best in tight rock crevices. It is ideally suited to smaller rock gardens where its flowers will gamer more attention.

Moss campion related species: There are several varieties of moss campion, including a white-flowered form (Silene acaulis Alba) and a double, purplish-pink form (S. a. Cenisia). Alpine catchfly (Silene quadrifida, sometimes sold as S. alpestris), with white flowers, and Schafta campion (S. Schafta), with pink flowers, grow taller (up to 12 inches) but are otherwise similar to moss campion.

Scientific name of moss campion: Silene acaulis

Want more information? Visit the following articles:

  • Rock Garden Plants: Learn which flowers and plans work best in rock gardens.
  • Gardening: Want gardening basics – start here with our guide to gardening.
  • Rock Gardens: We answer all your questions about rock gardens.