Circaea lutetiana

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOnagraceaeCircaeaCircaea lutetiana


A perennial herb found in moist, usually base-rich, shaded habitats, including both ancient and secondary woodland, hedgerows, scrub, stream and river banks, and as a weed of cultivation. Its spread is aided by its long, brittle but very persistent rhizomes. Generally lowland, but reaching 465 m at Highfolds Scar (Mid-W. Yorks.).



World Distribution

European Temperate element; also in C. and E. Asia and N. America.

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 4

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1041

Height (cm): 60

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2053

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 748

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 8

Atlas Change Index: -0.38

Weighted Changed Factor: 0

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (149b)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.