Silene acaulis is a variable species, and most workers have recognized infraspecific taxa in North America: subsp. acaulis (subsp. exscapa and subsp. arctica), which is predominantly arctic; and subsp. subacaulescens, which extends down the Rocky Mountains from Alaska to Arizona and New Mexico. In subsp. acaulis, the leaves are flat and short and the flowers are subsessile and smaller in size. Subspecies subacaulescens is typically a larger, less-compact plant with longer, narrower leaves and larger, pedunculate flowers. However, in many populations, these two variants are poorly differentiated, and in others both occur together, connected by intermediates.  

Silene acaulis is widely distributed in arctic and alpine Europe.


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