A rhizomatous, perennial herb of moist, calcareous, usually ancient, woodland, and occasionally found in grikes on open limestone pavement. It flowers and fruits most freely in the open stages of the coppice cycle, but persists in deep shade, and is well adapted to such conditions in managed woodland. Generally lowland, but reaching 360 m at Great Asby Scar (Westmorland) and Garrigill (Cumberland).
Many sites for P. quadrifolia were lost in N. England and central Scotland before 1930, and since then there has been some decline in S.E. England through the destruction and coniferisation of woodland. It may spread into secondary woods which are adjacent to primary woodland.
Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element.
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 714
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.68
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
Atlas (317b) Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
, London, (1996)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1965)