A deciduous perennial herb of moist, acidic and humus-rich, but often fertile, soils in Betula, Pinus and Quercus woodland and on moorland; less commonly on heaths. It is highly localised, colonies often being separated by much apparently suitable ground. Seed-set is rare. It is a good competitor, but a poor colonist. Lowland to 1100 m at Cnap Coire na Spreidhe (Easterness).
The distribution of T. europaea is unchanged in Scotland, but there has been a decline in N. England since the 1962 Atlas because of woodland clearance and moor-burning. It is now much better recorded on the North York Moors.
Circumpolar Boreal-montane element, but absent from eastern 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
1983. Breeding system and pollination ecology of Trientalis borealis (Primulaceae). American Journal of Botany. 70:408-415.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
1998. Demography and modelling of clonal fragments in the pseudoannual plant Trientalis europaea. Plant Ecology. 136:213-227.