A low shrub, often dominant on heaths, moors and nutrient-poor grasslands, and in open woodland on acidic soils, ranging from dry exposed habitats to wet peat bogs. It can colonise newly available habitats. 0-1040 m (Macgillycuddy`s Reeks, S. Kerry), with a single bush at 1095 m on Beinn a`Bhuird (S. Aberdeen).
Suitable habitat for C. vulgaris has declined greatly, particularly in much of England, since 1950 through loss of heathland to forestry, agriculture, mineral workings and scrub. It cannot tolerate continued heavy grazing, and has declined in some upland areas for this reason.
European Boreo-temperate element; also in C. Asia and widely naturalised outside its native range.
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
1960. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 74. Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull. Journal of Ecology. 48:455-483.
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.