A scrambling or trailing perennial herb found as an escape or a relic of cultivation in waste and rough places, often by old abbeys or nunneries, and in churchyards, woods and on grassy banks. It spreads by rhizomes. Lowland.
This species was grown for its medicinal properties. The date of introduction is unknown, but it was recorded in the wild from Cambridgeshire in 1685. It is now rarely cultivated, and is gradually declining.
Probably native in S.E. Europe, N. Turkey and the Caucasus, but so widely naturalised in temperate Europe that its native range is obscured.
Atlas Change Index: -0.82
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
Flora dels Països Catalans, I. Introducció. Licopodiàcies-Capparàcies,
, Barcelona, (1984)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Jalas & Suominen (1976)