Silene acaulis (L.) Jacq.
Habitat: Gravelly, rocky barrens of alpine areas [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]
Range: Circumboreal; south to the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire; west to Montana and Washington.
Aids to Identification: S. acaulis is a perennial herb that grows in clumped colonies densely matted together (pulvinate) to a height of 0.3-0.6 cm. The flowers are soliatry at the tips of branches with purple petals that are notched or entire.
Ecological characteristics: None noted.
Phenology: Flowers June - August.
Synonyms: Also known as Silene acaulis (L.) Jacq. var. exscapa (All.) DC.; S. acaulis (L.) Jacq. ssp. arctica A. & D. Löve
Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented in the following county: Piscataquis.
Dates of documented observations are: None noted.
Reason(s) for rarity: Near the southern limit of range. Habitat limited in Maine.
Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use. This plant may be extirpated from the state.