A perennial herb, mainly on basic soils derived from chalk and limestone, but also on clay, and most often found on roadsides, hedge banks, railway banks and wood edges, sometimes persisting on roadsides when neighbouring woods have been removed. Generally lowland, reaching 320 m in Derbyshire.
A perennial herb of grassy habitats on well-drained soils, favouring those which are calcareous or otherwise base-rich, but also on acidic sands. It occurs on grazed and ungrazed chalk and limestone downs, in rough pasture and other grassland, in woodland edges and open rides; less frequently on roadsides and rough ground. Generally lowland, but reaching 810 m on Snowdon (Caerns.) and Dollywagon Pike (Westmorland).