A biennial or short-lived perennial, common on acidic soils in hedge banks, open woods and woodland clearings, on heath and moorland margins, river banks, montane rocky slopes, sea-cliffs, walls and waste land. It is often found in great abundance in disturbed or burnt areas, such as recently felled forestry plantations. 0-880 m (Mt Brandon, S. Kerry).
The distribution of D. purpurea is stable, a major factor in its success being its prolific seed production and persistent seed bank. It is a common garden plant and can occur as an escape outside its native range and also on calcareous soils.
Suboceanic Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
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.