Phyllodoce caerulea

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaEricaceaePhyllodocePhyllodoce caerulea


This low shrub occurs in acidic, free-draining sites on steep, usually N.- to E.-facing rocky mountain slopes. It is usually found in dwarf shrub communities, though it sometimes occurs in herb-rich grassland. All sites have a prolonged snow-lie. Flowering is irregular, and seed production generally poor. 670-800 m (Ben Alder Forest, Westerness).



World Distribution

European Arctic-montane element; also in C. and E. Asia and N. America.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 3

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): -1.1

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 10.6

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1829

Life form information

Height (cm): 20

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary


Comment on Life Form

dwarf shrub



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 3

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Distribution information

Plantatt Conservation Status


JNCC Designations


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 (193a)
Coker PD, Coker AM
1973.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 133. Phyllodoce caerulea (L.) Bab. Journal of Ecology. 61:901-913.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Nelson EC
1977.  The discovery in 1810 and subsequent history of Phyllodoce caerulea (L.) Bab. in Scotland. The Western Naturalist. 6:45-72.
Wigginton MJ
1999.  British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular plants, edn 3.