Home Native Plant Network
NPN Protocol Details Image

Silene (acaulis)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Caryophyllaceae
Family Common Name: Pink family
Scientific Name: Silene acaulis L. excapa (All.) DC
Common Name: Moss campion
Species Code: SILACA
Ecotype: Alpine scree slope, Logan Pass, 2200m elev., Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT.
General Distribution: S. acaulis is a circumpolar species that is found in North America from the arctic south through the Cascade Mountains to California, and south through the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico at high elevations in cliffs and talus slides.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 1 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: Cushion plant with multiple leaves, 2 cm ht<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are hand collected in late August when capsules just begin to split and seeds are tan in color. Seeds are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are hand cleaned by rubbing the capsules through screens.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: unknown
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 90%
Pre-Planting Treatments: 5 month outdoor cold, moist stratification. Seeds were lightly covered with a thin layer of perlite to allow light transmission but hold seeds to the surface of the medium.
Bliss, and Bianco/Bulard found no stratification was necessary for this species, and seeds that were exposed to light had greater germination percentages.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Outdoor nursery growing facility.

Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are lightly covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled spaghnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per conetainer.

Conetainers are filled and sown in late fall and irrigated thoroughly prior to winter stratification.
Establishment Phase: Germination occurs in early spring under fluctuating temperatures.
Seeds germinate very uniformly at temperatures above 21 C during the day. Seedlings produced true leaves within 3 weeks of germination. After seedlings are well established, they must dry down slightly between irrigations.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Once seedlings are established, plants develop rapid shoot and root growth 4 to 5 weeks following germination. Plants are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm weekly during the growing season. Plants are root-tight in 20 weeks.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 20 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm in early fall; pots are leached with water, irrigation is gradually reduced through September and October.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 1 year
Harvest Date: July or August
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: This species is a long-lived, alpine cushion perennial with a branched central taproot.
Some individuals flowered one year after germination.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Second Edition, Deno, Norman, published 1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Silene acaulis L. plants 160 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/07/27). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

Personal tools