Gibraltar Campion Facts
- First of all, this delicate, yet gorgeous plant remains known as the Gibraltar Campion. Further, the marvelous flower has a true story to tell. That’s because, among other things, this stunning work of Nature currently ranks as one of the rarest of all known plants. The species also goes by the less pronounceable scientific name of Silene tomentosa.
- In fact, this marvelous little beauty remains so rare that, by the year 1992, experts believed it to be extinct. However, two years later, in 1994, a most fortuitous, at least for botanists and those who appreciate Nature, event occurred. That’s because, at that time, researchers accidentally rediscovered the remarkable species still living in the wild.
- But, the truly gorgeous Gibraltar Campion nevertheless remains exceedingly rare in its natural habitat. Thankfully for the species, however, botanists succeeded in propagating a few specimens. Therefore, these now exist at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens. It presently, and quite understandably, holds an official status as an Endangered Species.
Gibraltar Campion Physical Description
Most notably, the gorgeous Gibraltar Campion classifies as a woody-based perennial plant. This occurs due to its genetic structure, which may surprise some amateur researchers. However, the remarkable flower holds this status despite the fact that the marvelous species strongly resembles a small flower.
In addition, it remains relatively small in terms of physical size. In this manner, it proves that plants can be impressive in appearance, regardless of sheer size. Further, the remarkable plant attains a maximum height of about 16 in (40 cm). But, the majority of individuals remain much smaller than this.
Also, the beautiful small, two-lobed flowers of the Gibraltar Campion merit appreciation. That’s due to the fact that these commonly present a variety of colors to dazzle the eye. These delicate blooms range from a very pale pink to a pale violet in color. As a result, the effect can be quite striking to observers.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Caryophyllales
- Family: Caryophyllaceae
- Genus: Silene
- Species: S. tomentosa
Gibraltar Campion Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Firstly, the common name of the species itself, Gibraltar Campion, tells one precisely where to find it. That’s because the delicate little beauty lives in only one highly restricted location in the world. That extremely limited range consists of only Gibraltar Rock, located in the United Kingdom, in Europe.
Furthermore, even there it surprises researchers. That’s because the plant also has a highly restricted, specific, and unexpected habitat preference for where it lives. Due to this, the breathtaking flowering plant actually lives only on the extremely rocky, otherwise desolate, outcrops of Gibraltar Rock itself.
Quite sadly, scientists still know very little about the ecology of this particular variety of flora. This regrettable lack understandably occurs due to the simple fact of having so few specimens to study. However, efforts to fathom the secrets of the magnificent Gibraltar Campion remain ongoing.
Thankfully, however, for the few remaining wild specimens, it now has a measure of legal protection. That holds true due to the fact that the local government passed the Nature Protection Act in 1991. This measure serves to provide the perilously positioned plant with at least a modicum of legal protection.