A perennial herb of free-draining, usually acidic (occasionally basic) substrates in a wide range of habitats. In the lowlands these include woods, hedge banks, heaths, banks and coastal cliff-tops; in the uplands, cliff ledges, rocks by waterfalls, rocky streamsides, tall-herb communities in gullies, montane grass-heath and fell-field. 0-1095 m (Ben Dearg, E. Ross).
S. virgaurea was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. Populations in lowland Britain are disappearing due to habitat loss and analysis of the database reveals that much of this decline has occurred since 1950. It is a very variable species, with many different ecotypes.
Eurasian 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
Comparative Plant Ecology,
, London, (1988)
A Flora of Cumbria,
, Lancaster, (1997)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1992)