The Clump-forming Silicate Campion is a member of the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae) and primarily only needs light and water to flourish. It grows almost directly on rocks and therefore is a good indicator that the soil where it is growing is very nutrient deficient.
This evergreen plant belongs to the Silene genus. It grows to between 1–3 cm in height and forms distinctively pretty flat or spherical clumps over many years. Old specimens can reach 1–2 metres in diameter and can be up to 100 years old.
Facts and Figures
When the Clump-forming Silicate Campion is in bloom, it is reminiscent of a carpet of moss scattered with pink confetti. The genus name Silene comes from Silenus, the companion of Bacchus (god of wine and intoxication) in Greek mythology. Silenus was often depicted in a bloated state, which was associated with the inflated calyx of the Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris), a close relative of the Clump-forming Silicate Campion.
In Switzerland, the Clump-forming Silicate Campion can be found in the Alps on acidic, very nutrient-deficient and stony grassland as well as on ridges. This species is very common in the Gornergrat area and it delights both butterflies and hikers during its flowering season. more information