An annual or biennial herb of well-drained basic soils, typically occurring in grazed chalk and limestone grassland, on calcareous dunes and machair, on spoil-tips and in cuttings and quarries. Mainly lowland, ascending to 750 m (Knock Fell, Westmorland).
There is some evidence of a decline in this species since the 1962 Atlas. In Ireland only subsp. hibernica has been recorded; subsp. amarella is widespread in Britain north to C. Scotland, and subsp. septentrionalis is mapped separately. G. amarella hybridises freely with G. anglica and G. uliginosa. However, recent molecular research suggests that the boundaries between these taxa are not clear-cut.
Circumpolar Boreo-temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 8
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.9
Annual Precipitation (mm): 932
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.