Lychnis viscaria

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaCaryophyllaceaeLychnisLychnis viscaria


A tufted evergreen perennial herb which grows on rocks and steep dry slopes of predominantly southerly aspect. It prefers mildly acidic to moderately basic soils and many stations are on the more basic volcanic rocks such as basalt and dolerite. From near sea level on undercliffs in Kirkcudbrightshire to 425 m at Kinloch Rannoch (Mid Perth); most populations are above 300 m.



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element, with a continental distribution in W. Europe.

Broad Habitats

Inland rock (quarries, cliffs, screes)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 3

Reaction (Ellenberg): 4

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 926

Life form information

Height (cm): 45

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary


Comment on Life Form

A chamaephyte; the overwintering bits are well below 25 cm.



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 28

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0.01

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 (65a)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1986)
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Wigginton MJ
1999.  British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular plants, edn 3.
Wright et al (1995)