A perennial herb of hedgerows, roadsides, field margins, rough grassy banks and waste places; often found growing close to habitation, and possibly sometimes occurring as a garden escape or throw-out. Lowland.
This conspicuous species was not recorded in Britain until 1762 and, although considered possibly native by Stace (1997), it is almost certainly an alien which appears to be increasing in many areas. In Hampshire, for example, it was described as being very rare in the late 19th century but is now widespread and fairly common.
Native of the mountains of S. Europe & S.W. Asia; it spread rapidly in W. & C. Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries and now has a European Temperate distribution.
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.