A perennial herb of waste places, rubbish tips, roadside verges, shaded banks and woodland. Lowland.
V. major was being cultivated in Britain by 1597. It is widely grown as a ground-cover species, but its robust habit and vigorous growth means that it is frequently discarded, and often becomes well-established in suitable habitats. It was recorded from the wild by 1650 (Middlesex). It has increased since the 1962 Atlas, probably mostly due to continued dumping of garden material, although it is also likely to be better recorded.
The naturalised plant, subsp. major, is a native of the European Mediterranean region; subsp. hirsuta is native to N. Turkey and the Caucasus.
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.