A rhizomatous perennial herb of wet, moderately basic to strongly acidic mineral soils and peats, in a wide range of raised, valley and blanket mire communities, and in wet heaths and flushes, especially where there is some water movement. It is intolerant of shade. Although it is slightly toxic, plants in the uplands may be heavily grazed. 0-1005 m (Beinn Heasgarnich, Mid Perth) but reportedly to 1130 m elsewhere in Scotland.
Many sites for N. ossifragum were lost from lowland England before the 1962 Atlas. There have since been further local losses, notably from Surrey and Sussex, but the distribution is stable elsewhere.
Oceanic Boreo-temperate element.
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
1962. La flore atlantique européenne. Documents pour les cartes des productions végétales serie Europe-Atlantique, vol. 1.
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.
1974. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 135. Narthecium ossifragum (L.) Huds. Journal of Ecology. 62:325-339.