Moss Campion (Silene acaulis)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Moss Campion
Silene acaulis
Caryophyllaceae

Plants form a rooting carpet and can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 25cm apart each way[208].

  • Medicinal Use

    The plant has been used in the treatment of children with colic[257].

  • Edible Use

    Plant – cooked[61, 177]. Consumed as a vegetable in Iceland and in Arctic and Alpine regions[183].

    The raw root skins have been used for food[257]. This report refers to the sub-species S. acaulis exscapa. (All.)DC.

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it does contain saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.
Easily grown in a light soil in full sun, doing best on a moraine[1]. Prefers a cool climate, plants can be difficult to bring into flower in the garden[188]. Polymorphic[1]. The sub-species S. acaulis saxatilis flowers more freely than the type[208].
Arctic regions, also found further south on mountains in Asia, N. America and Europe, incl Britain.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.