A tufted perennial growing on poorly-drained, mildly acidic, neutral or basic soils in woodland, rough and marshy grasslands, fen-meadows, grass-heath, and a wide range of montane habitats. It can rapidly colonise bare ground and tolerates some disturbance. It is morphologically and cytologically variable and either proliferates or sets copious seed. 0-1235 m (Ben Macdui, S. Aberdeen).
The distribution of D. cespitosa is stable. It often persists in overgrazed pasture because its unpalatable leaves have a high silica content. Subsp. cespitosa is widespread; the other two subspecies are mapped separately.
Circumpolar Wide-boreal element; 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
1980. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 149. Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) Beauv. Journal of Ecology. 68:1075-1096.
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.