A bulbous perennial herb of moist woodlands and other shaded places. It is especially frequent in parks, large gardens and churchyards, but also occurs on road verges, by watercourses and in damp grassland. Spread is mainly by division of the bulbs, as seed production is poor. 0-370 m (Nenthall, Cumberland).
This species was known in cultivation in Britain in 1597 but was not recorded in the wild until 1778. Although it was formerly sometimes regarded as native, it is now considered to be alien. It was probably under-recorded in the 1962 Atlas, and there is little reason to suspect a real change in its distribution.
A European Southern-temperate species; 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.