Minuartia sedoides (L.) Hiern

This dwarf plant has a hard time competing for our attention among gentians, louseworts and wormwood plants. If you don’t look closely, you might even think it’s a moss. But if you take the time to examine the plant with a magnifying glass, you will discover its true beauty.  The Dwarf Cyphel forms dense clumps that are reminiscent of moss. When you look really closely, you can see the lanceolate leaves, which are only about 6 mm long. The flowers stand individually on short stems. The petals are completely missing, but you can see five yellow-green sepals, even if they are only about 3 mm long.

Facts and Figures

The dense clumps of the Dwarf Cyphel are an exceptionally good adaptation to the harsh climate in the Alpine belt. The moisture is retained for longer within the clump, which prevents the icy wind from doing much damage. Even though this species does not have colourful petals, it is often pollinated by flies.  


The Dwarf Cyphel is widespread in the Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathians and also in parts of the Balkans. In Switzerland, the species is mainly found in the central Alps but it is not found anywhere in the Jura or southern Ticino.   more information

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