A rhizomatous perennial of open, wet, peaty ground, both calcareous and acidic, sometimes colonising peat-cuttings and often growing in standing water. Its habitats range from upland blanket bogs and hillside flushes to wet heaths and marshy meadows in the lowlands. 0-1100 m (Ben Alder, Westerness).
Drainage, groundwater extraction and the cessation of grazing at some sites have considerably reduced the abundance of this species in the lowlands. Analysis of the database reveals that many losses took place before 1950, but have continued since then. In Hertfordshire, most sites were lost by 1900, and all by 1979 (James & Goldsmith, 1993).
Circumpolar Wide-boreal element.
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
Comparative Plant Ecology,
, London, (1988)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1965)
Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 43. Eriophorum angustifolium Roth,
, Journal of Ecology, Volume 42, p.612-622, (1954)