A rhizomatous, mycorrhizal, perennial evergreen herb. In S. England it is a plant of damp woodlands with deep litter, on a variety of soils; elsewhere it occurs in damp places in heaths, plantations, disused railways, on rock ledges and in sand dunes. 0-1130 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).
This species has declined throughout its scattered British range through changes in land use and management. Most losses in the south occurred before 1930. The small, southern woodland populations appear particularly vulnerable, with recent losses as sites have become too dry. It sometimes colonises plantations, where it may be introduced or arrive naturally by wind-blown seed.
Circumpolar Boreal-montane element.
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 558
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 50
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.55
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Atlas text references
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1978)