This deciduous perennial herb is found in a wide range of habitats, especially open heaths, moors, bogs and fens, but also in open birchwoods, mountain grassland and cliffs and stony lake margins. It is found on mildly basic to strongly acidic peats and mineral soils which are permanently or seasonally wet. 0-870 m (Meikle Kilrannoch, Angus).
M. caerulea, mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas, has declined in some lowland areas through habitat destruction. Conversely, it has increased in frequency where grazing has ceased. Subsp. caerulea is found throughout the range of the species, subsp. arundinacea is widespread but scattered in fens and by rivers and canals.
Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate 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
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
2001. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 216. Molinia caerulea (L.) Moench. Journal of Ecology. 89:126-144.
1988. Two subspecies of Molinia caerulea (L.) Moench in the British Isles. Watsonia. 17:153-157.