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Sea Campion

Silene uniflora

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Cliffs, meadows, mountains, rocky places, sea cliffs, seaside.

White, 5 petals
5 white overlapping petals with broader sepals and often solitary, up to 2.5cm. Sometimes tinged slightly pink.
A capsule with down-turned teeth.
Dark green, smooth and waxy leaves, forming a carpet over the ground. Arranged in opposite pairs along the stem.
Other Names:
Dead Man's Bells, Devil's Hatties, Rock Rose, Witches' Thimbles.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Silene uniflora, also known as sea campion or rock rose, is a species of flowering plant in the carnation family. It is native to the Arctic and alpine regions of Europe, Asia, and North America, and is widely distributed in other parts of the world. The plant is known for its small, pink or white flowers and hairy leaves. It grows well in rocky or gravelly soils and is often found in alpine meadows and cliffs. Silene uniflora is a low-growing plant that forms a mat-like shape and can spread to form large clumps. It is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant and is valued for its attractive flowers and ability to thrive in difficult growing conditions. The plant is also used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.


Sea Campion, also known as Silene uniflora, is a beautiful and hardy flowering plant that is native to the coastal regions of Europe and Asia. This plant belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family and is known for its unique beauty and adaptability to various types of environments.

The plant has a low-growing and spreading habit, and it produces a profusion of small, five-petaled white or pink flowers. The flowers are held above the foliage and bloom from late spring to early summer, adding a touch of color and charm to any landscape.

In its natural habitat, Sea Campion thrives in harsh and windy environments, such as rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. The plant is extremely tolerant of salt spray and has a strong root system that helps it hold its ground against strong winds and waves. This makes it an ideal choice for coastal gardening, especially in areas with harsh growing conditions.

Aside from its ornamental value, Sea Campion is also a great choice for wildlife gardening. Its flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, providing them with nectar and pollen. Additionally, the plant provides shelter and food for small mammals and birds.

When it comes to care, Sea Campion is a low-maintenance plant that requires little attention. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil, and it can tolerate drought conditions once established. The plant can also be propagated easily from stem cuttings or seed, making it a great choice for those looking to start a new garden or add to an existing one.

Sea Campion is a beautiful and versatile plant that adds charm and beauty to any coastal landscape. Whether you are looking to create a wildlife garden, add a touch of color to a rocky cliff, or simply want to enjoy its beauty in your own garden, Sea Campion is a great choice.

Another great feature of Sea Campion is its versatility in design. The plant can be used as a ground cover, a border plant, or a rock garden accent. Its spreading habit makes it ideal for covering large areas, while its attractive flowers make it perfect for use in a cutting garden.

In addition to its ornamental value, Sea Campion also has some medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including respiratory problems and skin conditions. The plant's leaves and roots contain compounds that have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties, making it a valuable addition to any medicinal herb garden.

When planting Sea Campion, it is important to choose a location that provides proper drainage. The plant does not tolerate poorly drained soil, and too much moisture can cause root rot. It is also important to provide proper sunlight and to keep the soil consistently moist, especially during the establishment period.

In terms of maintenance, Sea Campion is a low-maintenance plant that requires little attention once established. It does not require any pruning or special care, making it an ideal choice for those who are looking for a low-maintenance garden. However, it is recommended to remove any dead or yellowed leaves to promote healthy growth.

Sea Campion is a versatile and beautiful plant that adds charm and beauty to any coastal garden. With its adaptability to harsh environments, its attractive flowers, and its low-maintenance requirements, Sea Campion is a must-have for any gardener. Whether you are looking to create a wildlife garden, a coastal landscape, or simply want to enjoy its beauty, Sea Campion is the perfect choice.

Another interesting aspect of Sea Campion is its cultural significance. The plant has a rich history of being used in folklore and mythology, and it is associated with several legends and beliefs in different parts of the world.

For example, in ancient Greece, the plant was believed to have been created from the tears of the sea nymphs, and it was considered a symbol of hope and renewal. In the folklore of northern Europe, Sea Campion was believed to have magical powers and was used in various rituals and spells.

In more recent times, Sea Campion has been used in landscaping and horticulture. It is a popular choice for coastal gardens, rock gardens, and wildflower meadows, and it has also been used to create naturalistic landscapes and to stabilize sand dunes.

Aside from its ornamental value, Sea Campion is also an important food source for several species of wildlife, including bumblebees, butterflies, and moths. It provides nectar and pollen for these species, and its leaves and stems can be used as food by small mammals and birds.

Sea Campion is a plant that has a rich history, cultural significance, and ecological importance. Its beauty, versatility, and adaptability make it an ideal choice for coastal gardens and wildlife habitats, and its rich folklore and cultural associations add an interesting layer of history and tradition to any landscape. Whether you are a gardener, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, Sea Campion is a plant that should be in your garden.

Another aspect of Sea Campion that makes it a popular choice for coastal gardens is its resilience. The plant is capable of surviving in harsh and challenging environments, making it an ideal choice for areas with strong winds, salt spray, and limited soil nutrients.

In addition, Sea Campion is a long-lived plant that can persist for several decades in optimal conditions. With proper care and maintenance, the plant can maintain its vigor and beauty for many years, providing year-round interest and color to your garden.

When planting Sea Campion, it is important to consider the type of soil and the amount of sunlight it will receive. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade, and it can tolerate a wide range of soil pH levels, from acidic to alkaline.

In terms of maintenance, Sea Campion is a low-maintenance plant that does not require any special care. It does not require frequent watering or fertilization, and it can be left to grow on its own, with occasional deadheading to promote reblooming.

In conclusion, Sea Campion is a plant that is known for its resilience and longevity, making it an ideal choice for coastal gardens and wildlife habitats. With its adaptability to harsh environments, its low-maintenance requirements, and its year-round interest and color, Sea Campion is a plant that should be on your list of must-haves for your garden.


Sea Campion filmed at Silverdale, Lancashire on the 27th May 2023.


Music credits
Grave Blow by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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