A perennial herb found in shaded places, including woodland, hedges, churchyards and on banks. It sometimes reproduces by seed, at least in S. England, and spreads by means of rhizomes to form a dense mass. Lowland.
Though sometimes claimed to be native, this species is certainly an introduction and has been grown in British gardens as a medicinal herb since at least 1200 (Harvey, 1981). It has been naturalised in the wild since 1640, but had greatly declined by 1930. It has continued to decline gradually since then.
A European Temperate species with a continental distribution; absent as a native from much of W. Europe.
Atlas Change Index: -0.86
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)
Jalas & Suominen (1976)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1965)