For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.
Moss campion generally considered edible. However, there is documentation of the roots being used food in Iceland and by the Inuktitut in Canada. It has also been used as a gastrointestinal aid for children with colic by the Gosiute Indians of Utah. There are no modern medical records or studies toward its medical use.
Identification and Information
Flower: Pink, small, 5-petaled (lilac-like smell) Leaves: Narrow, bright green, densely packed (moss-like) Root: Long taproot reaching between crevices in rocks
Moss campion is a cushion-like plant with 6-12mm (1/4-1/2 in) diameter, pink or whitish-pink 5-petal flowers, and 10 stamens. The leaves are bright green, short and narrow, giving the appearance of moss. Moss campion grows in rocky, sandy, dry alpine areas with full sun. These “cushions range in diameter from a few centimeters up to 30 cm (1 foot) in diameter and are only 5-15 cm (2-6 inches) tall. The flowers themselves usually don’t rise much above the leaves, but sometimes rise a few centimeters above the cushion.
In North America, Moss Campion is widely distributed from Alaska, Greenland, most of Canada except Saskatchewan, the Rocky Mountain States southward to Arizona and New Mexico, as well as New York, New Hampshire (critically imperiled), and Maine (presumed extirpated). Silene acaulis has a circumboreal distribution and is found across Eurasia as well, in particular, Siberia, The British Isles, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and can be found in the Alps.
Moss campion flowers in early summer and is found in alpine tundra, gravelly stream beds, and rocky ledges. It prefers moist soils and lots of sunlight.
The Kamchatka fritillary, also commonly known as the chocolate lily (Fritillaria camschatcensis) is a brown flowering plant living mostly in coastal areas in Alaska and northwestern North America and coastal...