A small shrub which suckers to form dense thickets. It grows in organic soils in base-poor bogs and moorland, lowland raised bogs, wet heaths and acid carr; in all its sites, moving groundwater is a constant feature. It tolerates light shade and is not grazed. Generally lowland, but reaching at least 520 m in the Forest of Drumochter (Easterness).
Some lowland populations have been lost to peat extraction and agricultural reclamation, whilst others have gone as woodland develops on bogs that have been drained or are drying out due to a falling water-table. In the uplands the distribution is stable.
Suboceanic Boreo-temperate element; also in E. Asia and N. America.
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
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1976)
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
2000. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 215. Myrica gale L. Journal of Ecology. 88:1079-1094.