A perennial herb occurring in dry, sunny pastures on chalk and limestone, and on rock ledges on limestone cliffs. It prefers a S.-facing aspect, an open situation, and is able to colonise bare chalk, such as that in new road cuttings. Generally lowland, but reaching 600 m on Long Fell, Warcop (Westmorland).
The map suggests little change in this species, other than a few losses from outlying squares and around the fringes of its core areas. However, county floras report declines, even within its main strongholds, due to grassland improvement, conversion to arable and scrub encroachment following the cessation of grazing.
European Temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 3
Reaction (Ellenberg): 8
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16
Annual Precipitation (mm): 814
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
1973. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 134. Hippocrepis comosa L. Journal of Ecology. 61:915-926.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.